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How to Read Turkish Coffee Grounds

Turkish coffee reading, also known as tasseography, is a traditional method of fortune-telling practised across many different cultures – especially in the Middle East and the Balkans. In this article, we will be exploring how you can practise reading Turkish coffee and what some of the most common symbols mean. 

Preparing Your Turkish Coffee

First things first, you will need to prepare your cup of Turkish coffee. Use finely ground coffee, water and add sugar if desired. Bew this tasty combination together in a cezve, which is a Turkish coffee pot, until it froths up. Then pour your coffee into a small cup and let it settle.

Enjoying Turkish coffee is traditionally done as a social event, so invite your friends and drink your prepared cup of coffee! When enjoying your hot drink, and of course, the grounds should be left at the bottom. Or, if you are with a  friend, ask them to drink the coffee with intent, meaning to think about their questions as they drink. In some countries the person will be required to drink the coffee in a certain number of sips, usually 1,3, or 5. 

Next, ask your company to take the upside-down cup and saucer. While focusing on their intent, they should swirl the cup and saucer three times in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, loosening the sediment inside. Once the swirling is done, instruct them to place the saucer and cup down. As the sediment drains from the cup onto the saucer, the person who drank the coffee should place a ring or coin on top of the cup, depending on what their intent was.

Reading the Turkish Coffee Grounds

So, what happens now you have your grounds? Reading the Turkish coffee grounds is all about looking at the overall pattern left in the cup. It’s important to note the thickness and distribution of the grounds. You are going to want to look for symbols, shapes or figures. For example, you could see an animal such as a bird, which can symbolise good news. Others have reported seeing letters or numbers which can  represent initials or significant words whilst numbers can indicate timeframes. Some other common symbols and their meanings are:

  • Angel: Good news and happiness are on their way.
  • Ant: Your determination in an activity will pay off.
  • Baby: Minor worries will preoccupy you.
  • Ball: Someone you know is involved in sports; expect short periods of luck and misfortune.
  • Beans: Expect financial difficulties.
  • Bear: Think carefully about new decisions.
  • Facing the handle: Carefully consider new decisions.
  • Looking away from the handle: You will embark on an important journey.
  • Beetle: A challenging task will test your resolve.
  • Bell: Expect surprising news.
  • Bird: News is on its way.
  • Butterfly: You have a fickle friend; stick together.
  • Candle: Someone will help you succeed; signifies knowledge and learning.
  • Cat: A short-term quarrel will disrupt your life.
  • Chain: Indicates a legal union, marriage, or business partnership.
  • Chair: An unexpected guest will arrive.
  • Circle: Success is coming full circle.
  • Claw: An enemy is present.
  • Clover: Symbolises affection.
  • Daisy: Represents love.
  • Devil or Horns: Be cautious of influential people around you; danger is near.

It’s also important to look at what the placement is of grounds within the cup. If most of your grounds are positioned at the bottom of the cup, this can represent the past and subconscious. Whereas at the sides of the cup, it can relate to present situations and near the rim can indicate the near future and conscious mind.

How To Practise Reading Turkish Coffee Grounds

Reading Turkish coffee grounds is an art that improves with practice and the more you do it. During the reading, it’s important to pay attention to your intuition and what you are feeling as you are doing it. Also, when practising this traditional activity, you will have to be aware that in different cultures, the symbols you see may be interpreted in a variety of ways. Research what you see thoroughly and make sure you spend time familiarising yourself with what the common symbols mean.

How To Close the Reading

After interpreting the symbols in your coffee grounds, you can share your findings with the person whose cup you read. If you feel extremely confident, you can offer advice or insights based on the reading, but we would recommend always approaching this practice with sensitivity and respect. Happy reading!

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