Sunday, March 31, 2013

Reading Coffee Grounds

I do love my morning coffee.  Maybe not so much for the taste (seriously, how much could I possibly love something that I add so much sugar and cream to?), or the caffeine boost (we're half-caff chez Discreet  Witch) but for the warmth and aroma and the quiet before the storm it represents first thing in the morning.  Recently, in order to prolong that morning peace, I've started reading my coffee grinds.   Tea leaf reading, was always a "thing" when I was growing up--the joy of hippy parents I guess--but I'd never really applied it to my coffee. 
Tasseography or tasseomancy is the interpretation of tea leaves, coffee grounds or wine settlements left at the bottom of your cup.  Cafeomancy is specific to reading coffee grounds.  Traditionally coffee readers use Turkish coffee, but for our purposes, regular ground coffee will work.

Step 1.  After brewing and pouring a cup of your favorite coffee, and doctoring it with whatever creams or sweeteners you choose, add a tablespoon (or more if you dare) of the grounds to the cup and let sit a moment or two while the grounds settle.  This part is tough for me since I like my coffee scalding hot.
Step 2.  Enjoy the coffee as you normally would, focusing on any questions or dilemmas you may have.  Leave enough coffee in the bottom of your cup to saturate/cover the remaining grounds.  You want a good swirl, but not so much that all of your grounds will wash out when you dump the liquid.
Step 3.  When you are down to that last little bit in your cup, swirl the coffee and grounds clockwise three times.  Cover as much real estate in the cup as possible while you do this.  I've seen it suggested that the left hand should be used--go ahead if you want to be a purist, but sleepiness and half-caff coffee make this one step too many for this Discreet Witch.
Step 4.  Upend the cup onto a small plate to drain the remaining liquid.
The grounds left inside of the cup are yours to interpret.  The first shapes that jump out at you will be the most important.  Pay special attention to these.  Reading grounds is a subjective art.  It is better to write your findings down and research them after, rather than look them up as you go.  Stick with your first impression--it is usually the correct one.  Using the magical Internet, search "tasseomancy symbols" for a lexicon.

Here are a few shape interpretations:

angel-good news
fork-false friendship
kite-wishes coming true or a possible scandal
map-travel and/or change

For more information on tasseomancy :

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