One of the more exotic and expensive spices in the world, saffron has that magic quality about it that adds a perfect finishing touch to any dish. Whether you use it as a garnish or as a coloring agent, saffron’s bright and ruby red color and its floral aroma is a lovely complement to your meals.
In this review of the best saffron brands, we explore the many different saffron products out there. There are very subtle nuances between saffron products and we’ll explore those in our review of these products. In our review of each saffron product, we’ll give you our honest review of each one including what we liked about it and what we didn’t like.But, be sure to hang around until the end where we’ll take you through a quick buying guide. In that section, we’ll discuss the biggest considerations saffron buyers need to think about before making their purchasing decision. This section will be particularly helpful for new saffron buyers.
Our best pick is the Zaran Saffron. It offers premium quality saffron that is highlighted by the rich and wonderful flowery aromas it gives off. The presentation of the tin is also very good as well as the overall coloring capabilities of this saffron.
Even though saffron is quite expensive, there are budget options and the best one is the Golden Saffron. Don’t let its lower price fool you as it is a Grade A saffron and rates high in aroma, flavor, and color. Perfect for people shopping for saffron on a budget.
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Saffron Brand
Zaran Saffron is our top choice for best saffron brand because of its extremely high quality and rich aromas. When produced and packaged, saffron is shipped to customers in tiny containers or tin cans and the saffron often look like threads of clothing.
These tin cans are very small and the amount of saffron you get may not seem like a lot but you have to remember that it is a very expensive spice. For this Zaran Saffron tin can, you will receive about 2g worth of saffron.
We can confirm that the threads of saffron that Zaran Saffron produces are very high in quality, as designated by its Super Negin Grade Saffron. This means that it has been designated as some of the highest quality saffron in the world.
It consistently tests very high for crocin (color), safranal (aroma), and picocrocin (flavor). These three things are what makes saffron special and this Zaran Saffron rates extremely high in all three categories.
People agree with its superior quality. Many say that this saffron produces a rich floral aroma, and a slightly bitter taste. They often use the saffron as a finishing garnish on top of their rice dishes, such as paella and risotto. Some people love the aroma so much that they also mix it in their tea and milk beverages to add that slight bit of flavor to it.
What we liked: we thoroughly enjoyed the flavor and aroma of this saffron. We mixed it in with our cooking to bring about more color and life to it. We also included it in our hot water to give it a pinch of flavor and for coloring and we were not disappointed.What we didn’t like: we would have liked the taste to penetrate more through the food as we did find the bitter taste to be more on the milder side. If the saffron taste would have come out more, this would have been the perfect saffron brand.
The thing about saffron is that it is not a very cheap spice. It is meticulously grown and cultivated in Europe and the Middle East and requires extremely fine precision and effort. However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly saffron choice, consider the Golden Saffron.
You’ll get tremendous value with Golden Saffron because all of their saffron threads have been cautiously handpicked and packaged in these tin cans. They’re known for their saffron’s freshness and indeed, these threads of saffron come incredibly fresh.
You get that hint of freshness the moment you open the can and immediately inhale those familiar saffron aromas. It is a Grade “A” saffron which means it is incredibly vivid in its aroma, flavor, and color.
Golden Saffron is 100% pure and is produced directly from farms. It does not have any preservatives or additives in it and more importantly, does not use any artificial coloring or fragrances in its saffron threads.
Many people who have purchased this Golden Saffron brand say that it is more affordable than other brands and tastes just as good. They have used it in their paellas as well as pasta and meat dishes. It also can be the star of a dish in saffron rice and saffron aioli.
What we liked: of course, more than any other saffron brand, we really enjoyed the affordability of this saffron brand and also its quality. We didn’t notice any particular difference in the quality of this brand compared with others and so we were happy to have purchased this for a lower price.What we didn’t like: the only thing we would nitpick about this saffron brand is its taste. Instead of tasting bitter or sweet, it tasted very plastic or metal-like. However, when the saffron was mixed in to a dish where it was fully engrained in it, this weird taste was not as noticeable.
Premium Saffron Threads is another excellent go-to choice for your saffron needs. As their name suggests, they produce some of the finest saffron you will be able to find. This saffron brand is produced on Afghanistan farms and are harvested by hand. It should be noted that Afghanistan produces some of the best saffron in the world.
Premium Saffron Threads is certified as Super Negin Grade Saffron which, as we know, is the top rating a saffron brand can receive and can be considered as some of the most desirable saffron in the world. Because of this rating, Premium Saffron Threads is slightly higher in price.
The higher price can be justified however, in its quality. Premium Saffron Threads has received a 10/10 rating in safranal, crocin, and picocrocin and its final grade is an A+.
And so far, many people have agreed with this rating. They have used this saffron in their cooking but also find that it steeps tea leaves very well to help bring about that lovely golden flavor and color. Many people say that when they use this saffron in their cooking, the saffron produces an intense floral fragrance, which is what you want, but also a fantastic taste.
What we liked: for us, what really stood out was the fragrance of this saffron brand. From the moment we opened the tin can to when we put this saffron into our tea to help it steep, that strong floral smell never left and it was very pleasant.What we didn’t like: we would have liked a bit more flavor out of this saffron. While the aroma was strong, unfortunately, the taste was not and, at times, it was hard to even notice the saffron taste at all.
Another premium saffron brand is Mehr Saffron. This saffron product comes in a very classy glass bottle that is topped off with a cork. Much like helping to preserve the freshness in red wine bottles, the cork in this Mehr Saffron also helps to ensure that the saffron’s brilliance is maintained.
You also get much more saffron with this bottle as there are 5g of saffron. These 5g of saffron are Grade A+ quality for a superior saffron taste and smell. The saffron is 100% pure and premium red saffron that is packaged in the USA, but it is from one of the best saffron-producing countries in the world in Afghanistan.
Despite not knowing its origins, this Mehr Saffron has received critical acclaim and has won the award of Superior Taste by the International Taste & Quality Institute. As the winner of this award, the Mehr Saffron’s aroma, color, and taste have been rated highly by a panel of 120 chefs and sommeliers from around the world.
This naturally hand-picked saffron is a favorite among people who have purchased it. Not only do they love that you get more saffron in this package, but they also love the freshness of this saffron based off the incredibly aromatic smell they get when they open the bottle and use it in their cooking.
What we liked: as much as we loved the saffron, what we really enjoyed the most was the deluxe packaging this saffron came in. Popping the cork off of this unique glass bottle and then pulling the saffron strands out of it was a different experience and one that gave it much more value, in our eyes.What we didn’t like: unfortunately, as much as we enjoyed the overall experience, the saffron we received in this bottle seemed a bit stale and the smell of it in our bottle was very subdued. It still added color to our food but perhaps, not as much as we were expecting.
For people looking for both quality and substance in a saffron, you’ll get plenty of that with The Gathering of Saffron Brand. This saffron product comes from Spain, a country that isn’t as well-established in saffron-production as an Afghanistan, but still produces some great saffron.
As we mentioned, there is plenty of saffron to be consumed in this package as you will get a hearty one ounce of saffron, which is the equivalent to 28g. So, if perhaps you work in an Indian restaurant or you need to cook for many people, and saffron is a key ingredient, The Gathering of Saffron Brand might provide the value you’re looking for.
This saffron is 100% pure and does not include any additives or preservatives. These are usually added to enhance the flavor and color of the saffron and many saffron fans can pinpoint them right away.
To make this saffron in Spain, over 70,000 flowers were used to produce one pound of saffron. In terms of its color, this saffron brand is rated as a Category 1, which is the highest level possible. Its sierra rating, which is the overall quality of the Saffron, grades as a Category 2.
Of the people who have purchased this saffron, lots of people commend the saffron’s authenticity as determined by there being no bleaching of the saffron strands. People also say this is the best Spanish saffron they’ve had and many say it’s very comparable to Persian saffron.
What we liked: we definitely enjoy buying more saffron rather than less so this was definitely a great value deal.What we didn’t like: the quality of this saffron seems a bit suspect to us. When we opened the can, it smelled a bit funky, almost like plastic and when we put the saffron in water to see how it would color, it turned the water into a bright red color instead of a more yellow-orange type of water color.
The Persian Saffron Threads is another fantastic saffron brand and one that is known for their high quality saffron. As the name suggests, these Saffron Threads are from Afghanistan, where a large concentration of high quality saffron comes from.
This premium saffron brand has a sparkling reputation when it comes to producing saffron as evidenced by its high grade with a Category 1 rating for their saffron color. This spice comes fresh and is packed with the utmost care in Afghanistan so as to preserve as much of the aroma and flavor as possible.
The saffron in this container are naturally produced and contains no additional preservatives that could possibly degrade the quality of the saffron. Thus, its natural state produces a deep red saffron that is fully of flowery aromatics.
People that have purchased this Persian Saffron Threads say that when used to steep in their tea, the bright redness of the saffron threads does a great job in fully turning the tea into a dark red color. For those who have cooked with this saffron, they enjoy it because it also turns the food into a darker red shade as well.
What we liked: we really appreciate that you can purchase this Persian Saffron Threads in different sizes. This one is for their 1g saffron but they also have an option for as much as 28g of saffron.What we didn’t like: we did not like at all the small plastic container our saffron arrived in. Before we even opened it, we could smell the strong plastic smell of the bottle and we believe that this ruined the flavor and taste of the saffron inside.
Another saffron brand from Spain is the Delitaliana Spanish Saffron Tin. This superior grade saffron consists of pure red threads that has no waste or any white plant parts that can severely degrade the quality of the saffron.
Thus, what you get is a lovely Spanish saffron that has a reputation for its great aroma, amazing flavor, and bold color. This product is made 100% pure and is all-natural in its ingredients. It was grown without the use of fertilizers or pesticides too.
In this tin of saffron, you get 2g worth of the good stuff and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that this tin is generally sealed tight to preserve as much of the saffron’s freshness inside the can.
People say that this saffron works especially well with paellas and casseroles and provides that extra pop of color and flavor. Better yet, to really help draw out the saffron flavor, infuse it with hot water to better release all of the good and natural flavors of it.
What we liked: we really feel that the airtight container of this Delitaliana Spanish Saffron really does an excellent job at preserving the terrific aroma and flavor of this saffron. We agree with people and believe that this saffron works especially well in paellas and really brings out a nice color in the dish.What we didn’t like: one thing we were really disappointed in was the amount of saffron that came in our tin. It says on the tin can that it is 2g but when we opened it, it looked something similar to what we would get in a 1g tin. For the price you pay for saffron, not having that extra gram really hurts our wallet.
Even though this one isn’t a saffron brand per se, we had to include it because it was a really good saffron choice. Saffron (La Mancha) is saffron that is produced in what we believe is the La Mancha region in Spain, where saffron production is known to be quite good.
This saffron is made 100% pure and with all-natural flowers to produce the highest quality saffron. People will be happy to know that you’ll get plenty of saffron with this tin. There is roughly 1 ounce or 28g of saffron in this giant tin container. This is perfect for people who use a lot of saffron in their cooking and or have to cook for large amounts of people.
The makers of this saffron fully stand behind their product as customers who aren’t 100% happy with this Saffron (La Mancha) purchase can request for a full refund without any questions asked.
What we liked: this saffron worked quite well in coloring our foods and tea but what we really liked was the sheer amount of saffron that comes in this container. It was definitely a lot more than those 1g tin cans.What we didn’t like: the one thing that made us a bit uneasy was that this Saffron (La Mancha) did not come sealed and we were unsure if it had been opened already and if it was safe enough to eat. We did use it but we were highly suspicious.
Mazaeus Saffron is a smaller, family-owned saffron business that initially began their food journey 15 years ago in Washington, DC. Since establishing themselves in the restaurant industry and a reputation for always using the very best ingredients, they decided to source and brand their own saffron: Mazaeus Saffron.
Their saffron is grown organically and harvested by hand on farms in Afghanistan. It is then imported to the USA where the saffron undergoes lab analysis to ensure it is the best possible product, before being packaged for sale in the USA.
To ensure a much longer lifespan for their saffron, it is naturally dried to improve the shelf life to an amazing 3-4 years. The end result is a saffron that brings about earthy smells and a beautiful flowery aromatic profile.
A tin can of Mazaeus Saffron will net you 2g of saffron that is a Premium Grade 1 rating. It has been tested for its safranal, crocin, and picocrocin and all have graded very high and guarantees for a fantastic saffron experience.
Many people have complimented Mazaeus Saffron for its entire experience, from the tiny tin can to the packaging inside that properly seals the saffron, to enjoying the saffron itself. Many people have raved at how well it colors food such as rice.
What we liked: we really liked how easily our food colors using the Mazaeus Saffron. We found that we used considerably less of this saffron than other saffron brands to color our food which was great for us as it allowed us to save more for future uses.What we didn’t like: the price of this saffron brand is significantly higher when compared with other brands that sell the same 2g amount in tin cans.
Another Spanish favorite, the La Mancha Prime Premium Coup Spanish Saffron is another top quality saffron brand. This one produces amazing saffron that comes in a tin can which is, in our opinion, the best designed by far.
In a tin can, you will get 2g of pure, high quality saffron. It is 100% natural, does not use any preservatives to alter its taste and is grown naturally and without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. Thus, it is a Grade 1 Saffron. This saffron has been hand-picked out of thousands of flowers to ensure you have the absolute best flavor and quality saffron.
This saffron comes the La Mancha region of Spain, which is an elevated region that is known for its saffron production. It’s processed and packed in Spain and is tightly packed in its tin can and shipped to the United States for distribution.
La Mancha Premium Saffron produces only quality saffron that are noticeable in their vividly red threads. It does not have any yellow or white parts of the plant that can severely degrade its quality and taste.
What we liked: we really appreciate the fact that this saffron comes in three different sizes: 2g, 5g, and 10g and the higher in saffron amounts you go, the cheaper this saffron becomes on a price per gram basis. None of these sizes are outrageously large like a 28g package so you will get good value with any of these three choices.What we didn’t like: one thing that was confirmed by other reviewers was that this tin can was insanely difficult to open and, at times, seemed almost impossible! After trying for literally more than an hour, we were finally able to pry it open it. As a counterpoint, this very tight seal does mean that they do a good job of ensuring that the lid is airtight and preserving its freshness.
For a Grade A premium saffron, many people turn to Zand Persian Saffron Threads. Saffron is nicknamed “red gold” and for good reason. It is the king of spices and Persia leads the way in producing the best saffron in the world.
Zand Persian Saffron Threads produces crocus flowers that are grown organically. They say it takes nearly half a million flowers to harvest which goes into their 2g tin can for consumption.
This saffron is slightly bitter but very savory and is an excellent addition to any of your home-cooked meals. It has no additives or preservatives in it ensuring that you are left with only the best possible threads of saffron Zand can produce.
These saffron threads were harvested by hand in Afghanistan and the main saffron characteristics, its aroma, color, and flavor have all been tested and all surpass the ISO 3632 purity standards.
Coming in a tightly-covered tin can, Zand recommends that to further preserve the best qualities of this saffron, that you store it away in a drawer or cupboard or someplace dry in your house.
What we liked: this saffron is incredibly aromatic and it really surprised us at how aromatic it was. After opening the lid and before we could even put our nose to it to smell it, we got a huge waft of that familiar flowery smell that is so common in higher quality saffron.What we didn’t like: unfortunately for us, our tin can was dented quite badly during delivery however, we were thankful that the dent didn’t penetrate through the can or else a lot of the smell would have seeped out. We also noticed that compared with other 2g tin cans of saffron, it didn’t appear that we got the full 2g of saffron in this one and we were quite disappointed by that.
The Rumi Spice Saffron is another premium saffron product from Afghanistan. The Rumi Spice Saffron is made organically and is harvested by hand on these Afghan farms.
As an organic saffron, it does not include any additives or preservatives to enhance its flavor or color as it already adds a bold and vivid red color and deep flavor to your food. You can also mix it up and use it as a coloring agent to your tea and to add a savory and bitter taste to it.
This saffron is known to be more intense in its flavor as many people say there is a mixture of vibrancy yet boldness when they taste it in their food. It tends to complement dishes extremely well by adding those slight sweet and savory notes.
This saffron is very popular among chefs and is commonly used by world-renowned, Michelin-star chefs around the world. As such, it’s presentation is also very deluxe in that it comes in a cylindrical glass container topped off by a cork. Inside the glass container, there is a small packet of saffron which equates to 0.5g.
What we liked: the overall presentation of the glass bottle with the cork we liked very much. It was different from the usual tin cans we see saffron come in. It also tasted very well too although, at times, if you put too much in your cooking, it could add a bit of a pungent smell to your food.What we didn’t like: we definitely wished there was a lot more saffron that came with in this container. There are other size options you can choose from but we opted for the 0.5g bottle because it was already the same price as 2g packages offered by other brands. On a cost per ounce basis, this saffron was, by far, the highest of any saffron we tried as well so, definitely the cost could have been way less for the amount of saffron we received.
Things to Consider Before Buying Best Saffron Brand
Since saffron is the most exotic and exclusive spice in the world, the amounts you can get it in can vary but they generally tend to be on the smaller side. Saffron isn’t heavy or dense at all – you can think of them as threads from a piece of fabric. Many saffron containers are usually tin cans and these tin cans are used because they don’t give off an odor.
This is important because sometimes saffron that comes in other types of containers such as plastic ones, you can smell the plastic right away when you get it and this can affect the quality of the saffron inside. That is why you see many saffron containers being tin cans. Tin cans are also good because they do a really good job of sealing the saffron inside so that it’s aroma, color, and flavor are well preserved.
Size of Packaging
Since saffron is such a hard spice to get your hands on, the size of the packaging usually tends to be much smaller. For example, many of the saffron brands we reviewed produced saffron in tin cans that only had 1 or 2 grams of saffron in it.
You may be thinking that’s not a whole lot but, with a few select brands, they sell saffron in more bulk as you can get it a 28g container of saffron. However, since it is such an exclusive spice and the most expensive one in the world, most people tend to purchase the smaller tin cans.
Where it was produced
Saffron lovers can be particularly picky with where the saffron is produced before they buy it. The two main regions where saffron is produced is Persia (more specifically, Afghanistan) and Spain. While similar in the final product it produces, red threads, there are unique differences in its safranal (aroma), crocin (color), and picocrocin (flavor).
For non-saffron experts, it can be hard to discern the differences but for saffron veterans, these differences can be vastly different and they may have their own preference for where the saffron they buy is produced.
Naturally, due to its status as an exotic and exclusive spice, saffron is a very expensive spice. While you may only pay $10-$15 for a small tin can of saffron, which can be viewed as a relatively affordable, on a cost per ounce basis, saffron is, by far, the most expensive spice in the world.
It’s not uncommon to find saffron costing anywhere from $140-$180 per ounce. Fortunately, saffron can be purchased in varying amounts but be sure to pay attention to its cost per ounce as it can be a deciding factor in whether or not you are getting a good price.
Saffron is truly a one of a kind spice. It offers people versatility in that it can be used to color food, tea, water, and even as a garnish. It gives off a lovely and fragrant aroma that is simply delightful.
It also is a very expensive spice and one that should be consumed in moderation. Yet, however you decide to use saffron, just know that you are purchasing the best spice in the world that takes much effort to cultivate, grow, and produce it for your own consumption.