Two women sit across from each other, a small cup, turned over onto its saucer, is in front of them. The smell of rich, roasted coffee permeates the air. As one woman carefully flips the cup over and gazes into its void, the other asks her questions! You may call it corny, or you may call it a farce! It involves predicting one’s future by reading coffee grounds. Turkish coffee cup reading is one of the oldest fortune-telling practices, also one of the most widely practiced art to this day!
The art of Tasseography:
In a world full of uncertainty, humankind seeks answers from every imaginable source. The stars, the moon, the earth, in each other, within one’s self. From these unknowns were born astrology, evolution, creationism, atheism, and hundreds of constructs. Humans define mysteries of the universe, events from the past, and predict the future from it. This also includes the centuries old practice coffee cup reading. Its the art of interpreting images and symbols in leftover coffee grounds, settled at the base of a cup.
Tasseography, known as tasseomancy or tassology, is a divination or fortune- telling method. The interpretations are based on patterns in tea leaves or coffee grounds. The term is derived from the French word ‘tasse’ (cup) and Greek suffix ‘graph’ (writing)
Exclusively crafted elaborate cup sets designed to aid in fortune-telling are used. It is traditional to read a cup from the present to the future. Reading starts along the rim at the handle of the cup and following the symbols downward in a spiral manner. The bottom of the cup symbolizes the far future.
Preparation of the Turkish Coffee:
The origin of the Turkish coffee cup reading dates back to the 17th century. Inhabitants of Levant around the Middle East and Turkey were the pioneers in this. To this day, Turkish coffee is the most commonly served type of coffee in the area. To be labeled as a ‘Turkish’ coffee, Arabica beans are roasted and then very finely grounded. The grains for Turkish coffee are even finer than they are for espresso. To brew the coffee, one or two teaspoons of finely ground coffee is dropped into a small container.
It is usually a copper pot, long-handled and is called a cezveor ibrik. The vessel is then filled with water and placed on a stove or over a fire to heat. Sometimes sugar is added. The dark mixture is boiled for several minutes and is cooled slightly. It is poured into espresso-sized cups and served. The coffee is strong, but not bitter, and its strength is often tempered by sugar.
The Turkish coffee is not filtered or strained. As the coffee is consumed, a dark, muddy sediment forms at the cup’s base. To avoid drinking the grounds, one stops drinking when about one fifth of the coffee remains. The most widely practiced traditional Turkish coffee cup reading is called ‘fal’. Fal literally means ‘fortunes’, depicting the course of fruitful events in one’s life!
Method of coffee cup reading:
Turkish coffee reading practice started in Turkey in the 16th century. This special type of coffee leaves are not only thick but they also leave muddy sediments at the bottom of the cup. When you swirl the cup and turn it upside down, the grounds will fall down. Consequently, they will leave some patterns on the surface of the cup. The images and shapes created in the coffee ground have predictable meanings.
After a specially prepared cup of Tukish coffee is poured, it is drunk, leaving the residue behind. The cup should then be shaken well and any remaining liquid drained off in the saucer. The diviner now carefully looks at the patterns in the cup. They might look like a letter, a heart shape, or a ring. These shapes are interpreted intuitively or by means of a system of symbolism.
Symbols can be interpreted as people, animals, and inanimate objects. Usually, the fortune teller will group nearby symbols together for a prediction.
Interpretation of symbols based on shapes and sizes:
House – harbinger of change, success
Mountain – journey of hindrance
Snake – symbolizes enmity or falsehood
Spade – good fortune through industry
In Picture – A typical cup with white background and coffee residue , used for symbols interpretation
30 of the most known Turkish coffee symbols:
- Ring: Marriage, new love affair
- Square: Happy marriage, new home
- Bow: Happy event, engagement
- Door: Opportunities coming up
- Bird: Good news
- Mermaid: Business & Love success
- Moon (full): Love
- Moon (crescent): Good luck
- Angel: Protection, good news
- Palm tree: Wealth, vacation
- Flower: Happiness
- Spider: Money coming to you
- Nest: Pregnancy
- Fish: Career achievement
- Dog: True friendship, faithful person
- Broken ring: Divorce, separation
- Flag: Danger at home, business
- Gun: Argument
- Knife: Break up with friend / lover
- Raven/Crow: Bad news
- Mountain: Obstacles
- Volcano: You are out of control
- Claw: Enemy around
- Devil: Danger ahead
- Coffin: Death, severe illness
- Rope: Bad illness
- Mosquitoes: Beware of enemies
- Nail: Injustice, dissatisfaction
- Octopus: Risk, warning
- Cat: Argument, wrong friendship
Variations of Turkish Coffee Cup Reading:
There are several variations of coffee reading. They commonly require for the cup to be covered with the saucer and turned upside-down. In the Turkish tradition, coffee-readers interpret the cup as divided into horizontal halves. Symbols appearing on the bottom half are interpreted as messages regarding the past. Symbols on the top half are messages regarding the future. The cup may also be interpreted in vertical halves to determine ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Some fortune tellers may read symbols in the left half as ‘negative’ events or outcomes. While symbols in the ‘right’ half are read as ‘positive’.
The Saucer represents the person’s home. Saucer signs give a lot of explanations about private or love life. The Cup represents the person’s out-of-home activities. Cup signs concentrate in answers in regards to business, work, and investments.
Others believe that the cup is capable of revealing insights majorly about the past. When it comes to future, it can’t predict events beyond forty days into the future. The saucer may also be incorporated into the reading. As with the cup, different variations exist for what the saucer representations. The saucer sticking to the cup indicates a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ outcome for some! The coffee grounds are given time to dry against the cup before a reading begins.
Some interesting facts about Turkish coffee and weddings:
Turkish coffee is not just an everyday beverage in Turkey. It is also a part of the traditional Turkish wedding custom. The bridegroom’s parents visit the girl’s family to ask the hand of the bride-to-be. During this meeting, the bride-to-be prepares and serves Turkish coffee to the guests. In the groom’s coffee, the bride sometimes uses salt instead of sugar to gauge his character. The bridegroom drinks his coffee without any sign of displeasure. The bride-to-be then assumes that the groom is good-tempered and patient.
Today, among all tasseography styles, Turkish coffee readings vividly stand out. This is because they paint the panorama of the coffee drinker’s life in the greatest detail. Turkish coffee reading is practiced widely throughout the world today. It is more than just a guide for most people. Superstitious or not, sometimes its comforting to have an answer or direction. Caffeinated or not, the power of suggestion may be stronger than the stars – or a pot of muddy coffee grinds. So wait no more and find answers for your unsolved queries from the left over of the cup of coffee you have!
Experience the wisdom of Turkish coffee cup reading by our host and enjoy fortune telling by the ancient way of divination! Unfold interesting incidents & facts based on the patterns, shapes and sizes formed by the residue of your coffee. Check out this video for more details!
Enjoy an intriguing & relaxing session and find answers to your unsolved queries from your left over cup of coffee. Have insights on your past, present and future life events through this unique experience. Book this experience hosted especially by Xoxoday over here.