The art of tasseography (kafemandeia in Greek), or reading one’s fortune in the remnants of a drink from a cup, originates from China and is centuries old. The Chinese “read” the tea leaves left at the bottom of a cup, and the Greeks “read” the grinds remaining at the bottom of a cup of Greek coffee.
The Greek word for coffee is “kafes”, which comes from the Turkish word “kahveh.” Both words refer to a method of roasting coffee beans and grinding them with water. Greek coffee is an art. People believe they can read their future by looking at the grinds left in the cup after drinking it.
Greek tradition has it that single young women would go to the coffee cup reader to find out if there is a future husband in line for her. Young men would also ask fortune tellers if they would find good jobs that would help them in starting families. People mostly want to know more about what the future holds for them in regard to love and money. The tradition is fading out as time passes; however it is still practised by mainly older Greek women.
How to read your Greek coffee grinds!
The Greek coffee should be brewed in the traditional long-handled “briki” and served in a small cup. If one wants answers to a specific question, they should be focused on the issue while sipping the brew at a leisurely pace. Overall, it’s important to enjoy the experience and maintain an open mind.
Once the coffee is finished, the cup should be held facing out on its side and be turned three times clockwise while spilling out the sludge and simultaneously spreading it around the entire surface of the cup. Whatever excess remains should be poured out from the side where the cup-handle is. The cup should then be overturned onto a napkin and left for a few minutes. Take this moment to take a deep breath and “read” what is in the cup.
Overturn your cup and hold it upright. Keep an open mind and don’t try too hard to see things. If you see something that looks like one particular symbol, but it is unclear, you’re probably right. How you interpret things is up to you. Oftentimes, the most important messages appear surprisingly clear.
Animals, initials, buildings, natural landmarks such as rivers, lakes, or trees and many other things known to the human eye, such as a spoon or a bicycle, can all be found in the cup. Generally, the bottom part of the cup represents people, situations, or ideas from your past while the middle part on the sides of the cup represents the present, Furthermore, the top part indicates what’s approaching in the future. A symbol can have different meanings depending on its placement in the cup.