How to identify the quality of saffron
The best way for anyone to distinguish the quality of saffron is to use your senses. There’s three ways you can identify the quality of saffron:
1- The smell
Saffron has a distinguished and soft scent. The aroma should be floral, honey-like, with a slight sweetness to it. This is a measure of the safranal in saffron.
2- The taste
Despite its scent, saffron has a very distinguished and hard to pinpoint taste. The taste profile of saffron can best be described as being floral and sweet but also earthy and some would even say it’s bitter. This is the measure of picrocrocin in the saffron.
3- The appearance
Add the saffron threads to water so it can steep. If it starts coloring the water quickly, your saffron may be fake or low-quality. Real saffron slowly turns the water into a yellow/golden color. This test measures the crocin of the saffron.