Fortunes from the “Grounds” Up

There are many elements that play into the telling of an individual’s fortune, but whether you’re looking into tarots, palm readings, or any number of other forms of fortune-telling, one of the fundamental aspects of these processes is to be able to identify and interprets various symbols and the associated images that they conjure up for the one giving the fortune. While there are a variety of methods by which symbols can be seen for a particular individual, the reading of coffee grounds, or tasseography, is of particular interest.

read fortune coffee grounds


Tasseography, while its definition associates it with the reading of coffee grounds, also includes the reading of tea leaves and the sediment left behind from different types of wines. The Greeks are widely credited as the people who originated the practice of tasseography, and while this may be true, tasseography is also present in other concurrent cultures in some form. For instance, many Middle-Eastern cultures have left some form of evidence for, or still keep the practice of, some kind of tasseography that we can confidently identify.

Even though tasseography is largely about the interpretation of symbols and images present in whatever drink is used, there are several other steps to the process that are an integral part of the fortune-telling process.

The Importance of How it is Made

First, the coffee must be made in a particular way. The Greeks used a traditional pot, called a briki, when making their coffee. This made sure that, among other things, the coffee being made had actual grounds present in it, because the grounds are largely what make the symbols to be interpreted during the fortune-telling process. After making the coffee properly, it is equally important that an individual drink and enjoy the coffee before attempting a reading, likely so that the person’s energy and that of the coffee interact sufficiently.

After Consuming

After the coffee has been enjoyed and finished, the cup itself, with whatever remaining grounds are in it, must go through a particular process to prepare for a reading. The cup must be rotated a total of three times in the clockwise direction, and while this motion is occurring the remaining grounds can be swirled and sloshed against the insides of the cup, making sure that as many grounds are in motion as the drinker desires. Once this motion is completed, the cup should be turned exactly upside-down very rapidly onto the table, napkin, or some other flat surface.

The Reading Itself

When the cup is lifted from the table, it is time to read into the shapes and symbols that will be present from the swirling of the grounds. This can either be done by referencing charts or guides that offer explanations of what the shapes may mean in general, or the reader may utilize their gut reactions and feelings to the shapes to attempt a more personalized interpretation of what it is that the grounds are referring to.

Although self-readings are certainly possible for tasseographic readings, oftentimes the Greeks had a close family member perform the reading for them, so try it out with a family member or close friend to see what results come up!