SAFFRON TIPS AND HOW TO DISTINGUISH REAL FROM FAKE:
Buy the stigma! It’s always better to buy saffron in stigma form and not the powder or liquid extracts. You know what you get and and you can easily make your own saffron powder with a little Mortar.
Storage - store saffron threads in a cool and dark place. Do not store saffron in a plastic container or bag.
Aroma - the aroma is decisive and sweet.
Taste - saffron contains Crocus compound (i.e. Crocin) which makes its taste bitter. Pure saffron tastes bitter, and the flavor is quite distinct.
Water - put the saffron in a small glass of tepid water. You will see that the real saffron slowly turns the water yellow. The saffron threads keep their red color. If the water changes color quickly or turns red or does not change color, or if the threads lose their color, then it is not saffron!
Appearance - Saffron threads are trumpet-shaped. When you rub real saffron between your fingers then your skin will turn either yellow or orange.