Saffron is a famously delicious Middle Eastern spice, but if you haven’t tried it in your morning coffee, you’re missing out!
We’ll show you everything you need to know about saffron coffee, including an easy recipe and some delicious brewing tips. Get ready for a knock-out coffee drink!
What is saffron?
Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight. It comes from the Crocus sativus flower, a purple flower that blooms in spring. Each blossom produces three yellow styles, and each style ends in a bright red stigma. To make the saffron spice, you have to harvest these crimson threads. It can take more than 50,000 flowers to produce one pound of saffron — which explains the prices of over $4,500 per pound. The good news is that you don’t need to use very much to get a great flavor!
Saffron is floral, earthy, and slightly grassy. Depending on your taste buds, you may experience it as a little sweet or bitter. Either way, it’s a complex spice that is delicious in a creamy cup of coffee.
Spiced Saffron Coffee
- Espresso or coffee maker
- Milk steamer or saucepan and whisk
- Large mug
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 shots espresso or ½ cup brewed coffee
- ¾ cup milk any kind
- Pull two shots of espresso or make ½ cup of strong coffee. Pour the coffee or espresso into your mug.
- Steam your milk using a steamer, steam wand, or a saucepan and whisk. You want it to be warm and frothy.
- Pour the milk on top of your espresso, holding back a little milk foam, and then add the honey. Roll the saffron threads in your fingers over the mug to crush them. Then give the mixture a good stir.
- Spoon on your milk foam. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or a little more saffron if you’d like. That’s it -- enjoy your delicious saffron coffee!
Brewing Tips & Variations
1. Don’t skip the saffron.
When you see the prices at your local store, you may be tempted to go for a cheaper spice. Safflower is an inexpensive imitation that will provide the right color but not the full flavor of the real deal. If you can swing it, real saffron is very much worth it.
2. Try a different sweetener.
Honey isn’t your only option for this tasty drink, but it does add extra flavor beyond the sweetness. Other sweeteners include agave, brown sugar, and coconut sugar. Why not try them and see which you like best?
3. Use espresso instead of brewed coffee.
We enjoy the bold, bitter flavor of a shot of real espresso with our saffron. If you’re going to splurge on the spices, why not go big on the coffee, too? You can make espresso at home using an espresso machine, portable espresso maker, or Moka pot. If you don’t have any of that brewing equipment, half a cup of very strong coffee will taste good, too.
We hope you enjoy your decadent saffron coffee! This drink is herbal and grassy, with just a hint of sweetness and plenty of bold espresso flavor. You won’t regret splurging on this unusual red spice.
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Featured image: NatalyaBond, Shutterstock