Tasseography is the art of reading tea (and coffee) leaves. This is a form of divination that involves telling one’s fortune by interpreting signs found in coffee grounds, tea leaves and- even- wine sediments. A tasseography witch interprets messages by analysing the shape and configuration of the tea leaves or the sediment left.
Tasseography is considered to be one of the oldest forms of divination in recorded history. Historians believe that this practice began in France (“tasse” is French for cup). But it is impossible to discern an exact point of origin given how old it is.
Who can perform tasseography?
Most people can learn the enjoyable art of reading tea leaves and coffee grounds and become relatively accurate after much practice. But it is believed that those intuitive to divination may produce clearer and better results. Personally, I believe it takes a lot of practise and the willingness to identify the symbols and how they apply. Just like doing tarot. Tasseography is an artform, like most forms of divination and those who take the time to study and practice are more likely to find success.
Although the best known form of tasseography involves reading tea leaves, there are other forms as well. The most popular (and my favourite) uses coffee grounds (or see my tasseography process here) instead. The idea is still the same but while tea was more popular in Asia and Europe, coffee was consumed in the Middle East and North Africa.
Coffee scrying was also popular among Turkish people who began boiling the coffee directly in water as a result of this. Traditionally, the coffee cup is divided into different parts:
- the top half represents the future
- the lower half the past
- the right side is considered positive
- and the left side negative.
The coffee grounds are then interpreted based on what part of the cup they appear.
How does tasseography work?
Those who work with tasseography read the patterns left by the coffee in order to gain insights or answers. The process starts with selecting an appropriate teacup as some cups make the reading easier than others. I use a white mug.
You can read about my tasseography process with Nespresso here. But if you want to play it old school, it’s important to select the right coffee grounds. Most people suggest that fine coffee grounds are the best. Please let me know in the comments if you have a preferred brand.
The next step is obviously making the coffee using loose grounds. Do not strain the coffee when pouring from a coffee machine. Remember to hold your intention strong as you make and pour the coffee. If you don’t have a specific question, just invite the symbols to tell you what you need to know that day or in that moment.
You can also add the grounds directly to the cup and pour hot water if that is easier. After the liquid has been drunk or poured away, the cup is then drained of all liquid and shaken well. The tasseographer can then analyse the pattern of the coffee grounds in the cup to gain insights from the shapes suggested by them.
Next time you drink some tea or coffee try to see what your grounds say about your future before throwing them away.
Read the tasseography posts here. Or check out the list of symbols.