I'm planning to add some in my mead because we have the best saffron in our country. anyone ever tried to add saffron in their mead, wine or beer during first or second fermentation? i know it can definitely give your drink a nice orange colour but how does it taste like? how about aroma?
I once made a clone recipe of Dogfish Head's Midas Touch that called for a small saffron addition with about 15 minutes left in the boil. In that recipe in particular, the saffron replaced the traditional aroma hop addition, so naturally aroma was impacted the most in this instance.
As far as taste, I would do a test with something else in the kitchen. Maybe try adding it to some plain rice (or something with not much flavor) and see how the saffron effects the taste and smell. Using white rice as a "blank canvas" will also show you how the color will be effected. Mess around with different amounts and different "exposure" lengths to really narrow down the desired application of saffron that you want for your mead or beer. This can go a long way in developing recipes with not so traditional ingredients (and your don't run the risk of ruining an entire batch).
Just a side note: I would hazard against using too much saffron. A little bit goes a long way, so 2-3 stems are probably all you'll need for a 5-gallon batch (which is good because it's expensive!).