Made of the most expensive spice in the world, this saffron tea recipe is a mood lifting, refreshing beverage that can be served with milk, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon, rose, or mint.
Learn different ways of preparing this relaxing and soothing recipe of saffron tea that will surprise you with its strong flavor, bright color, and unique medical benefits.
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Where I grew up, saffron wasn't a thing. The first time I came across saffron tea was when we moved to the Middle East. I remember tasting it, but more than the taste I liked the cup that the saffron tea was served. A beautiful Arabic cup with golden ornaments and bright yellow liquid in it. The second time was In Dubai spice souq, which is undoubtedly an exciting place to visit while in Dubai. Saffron was king, and many vendors were selling with plenty of tourists buying it.
However, they were also selling a cheaper fake version of saffron. Being residents in Dubai for 13 years, we knew their tricks. The fake (but still expensive) saffron was sold in large containers. Saffron is made of the crocus flower's dried threads (stigmas). Considering a crocus has only three stigmas, each of which has to be harvested by hand – it is impossible to see a whole shop full of kilo jars of saffron. Another trick was to taste it. If it tastes sweet, it Is fake saffron. Other tests include placing a piece of saffron in water and watching for dis-colorization. In a couple of years, we became experts pointing this out our friends who came to visit us to the right vendors.
Love tea? This tea is one of my favorites and requires just a small pinch of saffron.
Other teas you may like:
Where to buy saffron from?
When buying saffron, make sure you’re buying from reputed sellers. Health food stores or online stores like Mountain rose herbs is a good choices. Saffron is the most expensive spice that one can easily mix with other ingredients, such s dried calendula petals, to gain profit. Thus be very careful when buying from ordinary vendors or in the markets. Stay away from powdered saffron.
What is saffron?
Known as the golden spice of the world, saffron is an exotic spice derived from dried stigmas of crocus (Crocus sativus). With its long history of uses, bitter taste, and hay-like fragrance, one can use saffron as a spice for seasoning, fragrance, medicine, and dye.
How to make saffron tea?
Calling saffron the most expensive spice may discourage some of you from trying it. However, to make a tasty and aromatic saffron tea or water, you need just a small pinch of saffron.
making plain saffron tea
Boil the water in a kettle.
Place a pinch (¼ teaspoon saffron strands) into a tea, and when the water is boiled, just pour it over the saffron.
Let it steep for 5 minutes, and strain the tea.
Add honey or sugar as per your liking and serve. If you like strong tea, let it steep longer, but no more than 10 minutes, as it can get bitter.
Saffron tea with milk and other spices
Start with boiling water in a kettle and select the tea of your choice (green, black or herbal) that you want to combine with saffron.
Put the saffron and tea bag in a tea mug.
Pour over boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes, remove the tea bag and strain the strands of saffron
If you decide to make tea with spices such as cardamom, ginger or cinnamon, add it together with saffron
you may add fresh herbs such as mint rose petals or basil just before serving
You can add a milk
Other saffron recipes
Pure Saffron tea recipe
This low in calories tea in one of my favorite and can be made with the greatest of ease. Pour a little warm water into saffron threads and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Add some honey or mint flavor and enjoy this refreshing drink to sip on cold day.
In the contrary, some people like this herbal saffron tea others may find it strong or a bit bitter.
Combining saffron with other teas
Another way of drinking saffron tea is to combine saffron with other teas to hint at the saffron flavor. These could be green tea, rooibos, white tea, black tea or even herbal tea such as peppermint.
Saffron gives a twist that brings out exotic flavors of a bittersweet floral aroma.
Adding some spices to the saffron tea recipe is another way of enjoying the saffron tea taste and its medicinal benefits. Some of my favorites are cinnamon and cardamom pods. But you can make this tea This tea, with ginger, lemon wedges or lemon slices too.
Just a few fresh mint leaves or basil or even adding a few rose petals make the tea aromatic and fresh.
This traditional Indian hot tea, called masala chai, is sweet, slightly spicy and invigorating at the same time.
Kesar chai - saffron milk tea
Make black tea first if you like to drink saffron tea with milk. Spice it up with a pinch of pure saffron strands and a splash of milk. Whereas plain saffron tea diluted with milk kills the unique saffron taste, it will make black tea with saffron rich and full.
Don't add milk to green tea, as it has a strong flavor that kills the saffron's aroma. With the use of white tea, saffron taste prevails.
This delightful tea blend, also called Spiced Kesar Chai with milk, is warm and mild with a nourishing flavor.
Another alternative to making a saffron tea milk recipe is to boil milk with a pinch of saffron and other species (cardamom, ginger, cinnamon) for 5 minutes and dilute it with black tea afterward.
Persian saffron tea
If you order Persian saffron tea in Iran, you will get a black tea with a saffron rock candy stick - Nabat. They are just pure sugar crystal sticks infused with saffron that you stir in your tea to slowly sweeten it and give it hints of saffron. In Iran, these saffron sugar crystal sticks are also given to children to ease cramps or relieve an upset stomach.
What are the Side Effects of Saffron?
It is considered safe to take saffron in the amounts used in cooking, with no known side effects. High doses (more than 5 grams a day) can be toxic. Pregnant women should avoid high doses.
How to serve Saffron tea?
Saffron tea is lovely when served hot. I like to drink it in the evening, on its own, without any food. Saffron has a distinctive taste you appreciate the most if you drink it this way.
Health Benefits of saffron tea
Saffron has a long history, dating back to 3,500 years ago. People use the healing properties of saffron for various illnesses, such as menstrual cramps and stomach issues or as an aphrodisiac.
Many scientific studies show many health benefits of saffron, including:
its nickname, “sunshine spice.” doesn’t refer to its yellow color but to its mood-boosting ability. Researchers in this study
found saffron as effective fluoxetine (Prozac), a drug used for mild to moderate depression.
This study on rats showed that saffron lowered blood pressure and is also effective in lowering cholesterol.
May help to alleviate PMS symptoms -
various studies confirmed that saffron eases various uncomfortable symptoms such as mood swings or physical discomforts.
This study found that saffron tea can also improve learning and memory function.
This tea tastes great when made fresh however you can refrigerate it for about a week.
You can also serve it cold with ice cubes as ice tea.
Store saffron in a dry, cool, dark place or in the freezer.
The European Commission has reviewed research studies and recommended that people can safely consume a daily dose of 1.5 grams with no documented risks.
One teaspoon of saffron is about 700 mg. The recipe below uses ¼ teaspoon for a cup of tea. You surely can consume saffron daily, as long as it does not exceed the toxic levels (5 grams or more high doses). People have been consuming saffron for centuries.
Saffron tea has an unmistakable bold flavor, an earthy and floral aroma, and a touch of sweetness. Its striking bright yellow color makes saffron one of the most sought-after and most expensive spices by food lovers