For a retail buyer, good saffron is rather hard to find in Sydney. There are two options. You are able to buy saffron from a shop or you can buy it online. The major supermarket chains in Sydney, Coles, and Woolworths, do sell saffron. In Coles, you can find Masterfoods saffron ½ grams for around $7, and in Woolworths, you can find Hoyts brand saffron 110 mg or 1/10 of a gram for around $14.
Threads no powder
A package from each brand contains saffron threads and no saffron powder. It is advised that you never purchase saffron powder unless you truly trust your supplier. It is much too risky to buy when you do not know what ingredients have been grounds up to make the powder and with saffron being so expensive it is much too tempting for packagers to add less expensive ingredients such as turmeric to make it more bulky.
Of these two brands, Hoyts brand is far more expensive than Masterfoods. If you buy a pack of each to compare the difference, is Hoyts better? The first thing that you will notice about the Masterfoods saffron is that it has been repackaged. On the label, it says packed in Singapore from imported ingredients.
There is no country of origin on the label with the best guess being Moroccan or Afghan since it is the cheapest and is not hard to obtain in bulk from overseas. There is also no grading on the label so you can assume it is grade 2.Labeling laws in Australia do not make it compulsory to state what grade, but if the manufacturer does state the grade then it has to be a true statement. So, this would lead one to believe that if it were grade 1 the manufacturer would most assuredly state that it is grade 1.
Moving from the supermarkets, you will probably find the best saffron in Sydney in specialty shops and wholesale/retail suppliers. It is recommended to look in Persian, Arabic, and Indian shops to find your required assortment of such spices.