In this Article:
- Understanding the perfect saffron tea
- Hot Saffron tea
- Cold saffron tea
Reading time: Two minutes
Understanding the Perfect Saffron Tea
The quick answer to the perfect saffron tea, is that there is no perfect saffron tea! There’s a wide variety of things you can do with saffron to make a tea and it’s always going to come down to personal taste. For some aficionados the perfect saffron tea could be experimentation; for others, simplicity. Saffron can be its own earthy liquid with slight and ethereal supporting flavors, or it can work well in concert with other ingredients. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth there are plenty of great options to make a tea with. If you prefer plain, easy, and low calorie, while still getting the health benefits of saffron, you might just steep five or six lonely threads of saffron and drink away.
Hot Saffron Tea
Saffron tea can be taken hot or cold. In the west, we tend to consume teas hot, while in the east it’s closer to 50/50 depending on the weather, yet almost no one likes it room temperature, so we will avoid any room temperature brewing advice in this column.
To start with a standard saffron tea that takes additional ingredients well, you need to construct the base, which is quite easy. A good amount to start with is about one liter (just over 4 cups) of piping hot water. You can put the water in a jug, or other container and add between five and twelve threads of saffron depending on how strongly you like your tea. This is non-caffeinated so adding stronger levels of saffron won’t leave you with jitters or anxiety (quite the opposite, in fact).
What we would recommend is a good thermos that has a nice tight seal. Pour in the hot water, fasten the lid and let the threads steep until the threads lose their dark red color. You could start drinking your tea after 15 minutes, but letting it steep & stew for at least an hour will yield better results. The thermos is nice because just before drinking you can give it a real solid shaking and ensure everything is mixed really well.
The world of Saffron tea is wide, and here are a few completely different ways to do it.
Recipe One – Honey Mint Saffron Tea
This is a standard, traditional saffron tea, however the saffron doesn’t steep for very long allowing the other flavors to compete for the spotlight and really mix. This is another nice, basic recipe to experiment with. Serving size: Two cups
- 6 mint leaves
- 12 threads of saffron
- 1 – 1.5 tsp honey
- 2 cups of water
First heat up two cups of water until it’s at a roiling boil. Add 12 threads of saffron. Add the honey and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Add the mint leaves 5 mins before you are ready to serve.
Recipe Two – Zafrani Milk Tea – Complex Flavorful & Fun
This is a flavorful milk tea that’s gone through several evolutions on its way from Persia to India, boasting a unique and soothing personality. Serving size: One cup
- 1 cup milk
- Half cup water
- 1 tbsp black tea leaves
- 10 saffron threads
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Sugar to taste
First bring your water to a boil, and then add your spices, cardamom and saffron; continue to boil and pull out the flavors of your spice, for one or two minutes. Next add your milk & tea leaves and keep it to a boil. If you don’t find the consistency quite right, you can add more milk. Finally add your sugar and strain into a cup. Let sit until palatable and take care not to burn yourself on the way to flavor-town.
After your water is well-boiling add only the honey and mint leaves. Infuse the flavor into the water mixing well. Transfer your broth to the cups, and then add the saffron, six threads to each cup. By the time the tea is cool enough to drink the saffron will have completed the final flavor infusion. For a more fancy serving, consider adding lemon wedges for presentation & enjoy!
Recipe Three – Choose Your Own Adventure!
Who are we to tell you that your garlic & cilantro infused saffron tea mixed with oyster sauce tastes better not served? Go for it! Who knows, you might start trending.
Recipe Four – Chilled Lemon Saffron Tea
Cold saffron tea certainly isn’t traditional. Let’s call it modern and a little bit naughty; good for adding something to the table that’s rarely seen. It’s sweet, punchy and appropriate for both children and adults. It also pairs well with a sprinkle of vodka or other appropriately flavored alcohol if the need should arise.
- 1 liter water (4 cups)
- 50ml (1/4 cup) pure lemon or lime juice
- 12 saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon of honey or more if you like it sweet
This unique recipe will leave the lemon flavor but the saffron will combat the tart, sour notes and replace them with an earthy and slightly darker flavor that’s uncommon & surprising with a drink that’s screaming yellow & most often associated with citrus.
Bring your water to boil, remove from heat. Add your 12 threads of saffron. Pour your mixture into a thermos and let sit for one hour. Add the honey and shake. Add 4-6 cubes of ice to a serving jug, pour the contents of the thermos into the serving jug. Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and mix well.
Transfer to refrigerator or freezer and bring to lowest-coldest temperature possible without freezing to a point where you can’t mix. Mix well and add ice before serving.
Kindly share your favorite saffron tea recipe in the comments below. 🙂