What color is saffron

Key Takeaways :

  • Color Range:Saffron isn’t a single, specific color. It refers to a range of shades between yellow and orange, inspired by the saffron spice threads. Generally, it leans more towards the orange side than pure yellow.
  • Color Code: For web design and other digital applications, saffron has a specific hex code (#F4C430). This code defines the exact red, green, and blue values that make up the color.
  • Psychology: Saffron is a warm and energetic color. It can evoke feelings of warmth, passion, and joy. It can also be associated with luxury, due to the high cost of saffron spice.
Written by Vahid Epagloo, Food Consultant Updated:

What is saffron?

Saffron, prized for its vibrant color, comes from the dried stigmas of the Crocus Sativus flower. These delicate threads can range from a rich, reddish-brown to a golden yellow. While subtle, saffron’s flavor has a distinct touch of bitterness.

The saffron threads have two parts; the top three centimeters called the stigma and has a red color, the last one centimeter of the threads called root and the root is orange.

Hence, we can say that the crocus flower, which is known as saffron flower, had lilac color. The saffron thread is red and orange. However, the brewed strands have a yellow color with reddish tone.

Is saffron just a food coloring?

Safranal (Taste and smell)

Saffron boasts more than just visual appeal. It also contains a volatile oil called safranal. Unlike crocin and crocetin, safranal isn’t directly involved in saffron’s color. Instead, it’s the key component responsible for the spice’s distinctive aroma and flavor.

Crocin, Crocetin (Coloring compound of saffron)

Crocin and crocetin are the coloring principles of saffron, responsible for its vibrant range of hues. Together crocin and crocetin are present in the spice saffron at a total concentration of 4-6%.

Picrocrocin (Bitterness)

Saffron’s chemistry is more intricate. In addition to crocin and crocetin, saffron also contains a colorless compound called picrocrocin. While not directly contributing to saffron’s color, picrocrocin plays a vital role. It’s the precursor molecule to crocin, and during the drying process, enzymatic reactions convert picrocrocin into crocin, influencing the final color development of saffron.

Safranal (

How the saffron color will change?

When you add saffron threads or grounded spice to the warm water the color of water changes to golden yellow. It is due to the carotenoid component, which is called the crocin. This chemical factor is the main reason of this sunshine spice golden color.

Actually, when you add the magical spice to hot, warm or cold water or even ice cubes, chemical action occurred, and the color of saffron threads release into the water, and make the color of orange tones.

In order to have a great color, it is better to use ice cubes and grounded spice. Do not forget to give the brewed mixture at least 10 minutes to get ready.

This magical spice could release its color on foods, desserts and beverages. The famous yellow rice known as saffron rice. It changes the color all of all its mixtures to bright golden yellow with a reddish tone.

color of saffron

Saffron color

HTML color code #931314

Example of Saffron Red color or HTML color code #931314 with complementary color #FBB917

Color name: Saffron Red
RGB: 147, 19, 20
HSL: 359.53deg, 77.11%, 32.55%
Web safe color: No

RGB complementary color:

A complementary color for this color is Saffron Yellow #FBB917.

Other saffron colors

Code Color
#931314 Saffron Red
#FBB917 Saffron
#EB5406 Red Gold
#FF7722 Indian Saffron

How could you have the best color of the golden spice?

Do you know how to brew saffron? You should add this spice to warm or hot water, ice cubes, broth or milk. The point is that the amount and the form of the spice you want to add.

You can add two or three threads or a pinch of spice powder. It is better to use the powder.

You should add your spice to water, ice, milk or broth. When you want to have the best color, it is better to use ice cubes to brew your spice. If you want to make saffron tea, brew it in ice cubes, and after the ice melted, pour hot water for hot saffron tea. You can use this trick in all saffron usages.

How to know real saffron based on its color?

The real saffron threads are red. If the saffron type is Pushal or Daste, at the end of each strand there is an orange root part. There are many different ways to recognize the real red gold. Certainly, the first thing that you can see is the color of the magical spice; this is one of the most important ways that help you to recognize the real red gold.

The real saffron is red, but if you press it between your fingers, you can see its yellow color on your fingers. Fake saffron would give no color to your skin.

is saffron red or yellow?

Is saffron red or yellow?

When you brew real magical spice, its need time, at least 7 minutes to change the color of brewing mixture, while fake saffron releases its artificial color in 2 minutes.

The real strands of the golden spice release their color to the brewing mixture, but they do not lose their own color. It means that after brewing this spice the strands are still red, and the brewing mixture has a bright golden yellow color. On the other side, the fake threads lose their colors in the brewing mixture, and become orange or yellow after brewing.


When you use saffron, in color, you can have an orange tone. The most important point about saffron colour is that the color of the strands and saffron water are different. Actually, the color of saffron water is like the root part of stigmas, but when you brewed the root part of the spice, there is no color, or in the fresh saffron with high quality threads, the color is so weak.

Be careful about the red color of the red gold when you want to buy the most expensive spice in the world.