Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy and tassology) – the reading and divination of one’s future through the reading of tea or coffee remnants in a cup. The word comes from the French word tasse (cup) which is a cognate of the Arabic word tassa (cup or goblet). While the suffixes are from the Greek words –graphy (writing), -mancy (divination) and -ology (the study of).
In the Middle East, this tradition is known as “fal.” While tea leaves are utilized in the divination of the future, it is more popular to use Turkish coffee and the ground remnants in order to tell the future. Even though the coffee grinds are preferred to tea, the process is still the same between the two.
The drinker must drink all the liquid until there are only the grinds or the tea leaves. Then the cup must be covered by a saucer, turned upside down and the turned to face the person whose fortune will be told. This allows the remnants of the tea or coffee to swirl and settle at the bottom of the cup. There are some fortune tellers out there that ask that the cup be turned clockwise three times before the cup is covered by the saucer; however that is not always necessary.
It is customary that the reading was performed by a clairvoyant or a fortune teller. No one should read their own fortune. The cups used in this tradition are white to represent good and positive. This was used to be in contrast to the dark grinds which represented bad and negative.