Tasseography- The Art of Reading Tea Leaves

Tasseography- The Art of Reading Tea Leaves 1

Did you know that some people can tell one’s fortune by looking at tea leaves? Sounds interesting, right? This is an ancient practice and is known as Tasseography. Coffee grounds and wine sediments too can be used for this.


The practice has emerged from Asia, Middle East, Ancient Greece. The practice spread to Europe in the seventeenth century when the Dutch introduced her to tea imported from China.

Most prefer simple white cups for the process. The English and American potteries started manufacturing specially designed sets of cup and saucer since the late nineteenth century to make it easier for the readers. The most common types are Zodiac cups, Playing card cups and Symbol cups.


Mostly, Gypsy fortune tellers read the leaves and tell others their fortune. Some also claim that one should not try to read their fortune. One can find a similarity between Tasseography and the Inkblot Rorschach Test. The process is not related to magic but is a tool we can use to understand our mind. The symbols and patterns we find can open the door to our subconscious mind. It’s a wonderful way to discover one self. The symbol one sees entirely on them. While one may see an arrow, another may see a tree.


One can try this at home by following a few steps. 

  • Choose a tea cup. The tea cup should not have any pattern on the inside. The cup needs to have sloping sides, be wide and shallow. It can be white or of any light color.
  • Choose the tea leaves that you prefer. The process will be more enjoyable if one likes the smell of the tea leaves.
  • A quiet place is required. Make sure nothing distracts you. Switch your phone off. One can say a prayer to get rid of bad energy. Pour hot water over the tea leaves to make the tea.
  • Let the tea steep for a while. Use that time to focus. One needs to clear their mind before the process.
  • Use the hand you do not usually use to lift the cup of tea. If ambidextrous, reach for the cup, then use the other hand to lift it. Drink the tea.
  • While drinking the tea, focus on the taste of it and your breath. Try to block all the thoughts which are bothering you. If one of them refuses to leave, concentrate on that thought. That would be the subject of the reading.
  • Leave a little amount of tea at the bottom of the cup. Swirl the cup three times and then turn the cup upside down on the saucer. Hold the cup down for a while and think about the subject.
  • Turn the cup back and the tea leaves are ready to be read.

Here’s the list of the meanings of the symbols you may see.

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