Time for Tea-Spiration: Predict Your Future by Tea Leaves in Four Steps

By Alice Anderson Oct 01, 2019
Learn to read tea-leaf patterns in your cups of tea and try to create your ideal tea-leaf reading!

Although tea originated in China, with the first credible reference to drinking tea dating to the 3rd century AD, predicting the future using tea leaves, or tasseography, evolved far away from its birthplace - in Europe in the 17th century.

Legend has it that shortly after tea was introduced to Europe via the Chinese Trade Route, a royal couple was having tea when to their own surprise they noticed weird symbols at the bottom of their cups that in a strange manner correlated with their recent conversation. In no time, the art of tea-leaf reading soon gained immense popularity with the aristocracy and then with the broad masses.

Nowadays, when most of us use tea bags, not many people practice tasseography any more. However, if you learn to interpret symbols found at the bottom of your cup, you will not only enjoy a perfect cup of hot tea but also find the answers you need.

Is it really your cup of tea?

Cup of tea

First and foremost, becoming a tasseography expert is easier than it might appear. We advise starting with doing a reading for yourself. All you need is your ability to concentrate and trust your intuition - remember that one and the same symbol can be interpreted differently for different people. This makes tea-leaf reading much more accurate than palmistry or even Tarot reading.

Time for a tea party

Tea-leaf reading

For a tea-leaf reading ritual you will need:

  • a white teacup
  • loose-leaf tea
  • hot water
  • a white saucer or a plate
  • a napkin
  • a pen and paper


Tea-leaf reading woman

  1. Put a teaspoonful of tea leaves into the cup, pour boiling water over the leaves and cover the cup with a saucer. Wait for a couple of minutes until steeped. Note that it takes more time for green tea to steep if compared to black tea.
  2. Drink your tea slowly until there is almost no tea left (¼ teaspoon). While drinking, think about your life and what is troubling you at the moment. Tip: Use your weaker hand to hold the cup. For example, if you are right-handed, drink with your left hand.
  3. Swirl the cup three times counterclockwise. Cover it with the saucer and turn upside down. You are going to read the tea leaves stuck to the cup. Tip: Don’t see any tea leaves in the cup? You have probably left too much tea in the cup. Pour the tea and tea leaves back to the cup and drink it until there is almost no water left. Repeat step 3.
  4. Read your tea leaves starting at the handle and then move clockwise. It might seem a hard task and will require a great deal of imagination to see symbols in the patterns at the bottom of the cup in the beginning. Turn the cup slowly in a clockwise direction to see if the tea leaves will form a distinctive shape from a different angle. Remember practice makes perfect. Jot down everything you see in the cup.

​When to expect a storm in your teacup?

Tea cup

To determine when the events foretold during your tea-leaf reading ritual will happen, divide your cup into several sections:

  • shapes and symbols found in the handle section are linked to what is troubling you at the moment.
  • the tea-leaf pattern found to the left of the handle tells you about your past.
  • the tea-leaf pattern found to the right of the handle shows what the nearest future has in store for you.
  • Leaves found near the rim foretell your nearest future. It’s something that is highly likely to happen within a few days. The middle of the cup indicates your near future - from 2 to 3 weeks. If you see a symbol at the bottom of the cup, it determines events that will happen in a month or so.

Basic tea-leaf reading dictionary

Tea-leaf reading

Below is the list of the most common symbols that will help you read your tea leaves accurately. If you can’t find the symbol you see in your cup, please feel free to consult any tea-leaf reading dictionary your trust.

  • Arrow - unpleasant news or surprise
  • Balloon - you are a wanter but you can’t keep your enthusiasm in achieving goals
  • Clouds - failure of plans
  • Crown - dream big, you can achieve everything you want
  • Dolphin - cheerful and easy-going character
  • Fish - pleasant news, money
  • Flower - you will succeed
  • Knife - conflict or tears
  • Lion - good fortune, wealth, fame
  • Star - luck
  • Sun - good health and good fortune, no troubles are foreseen
  • Tent - travel

Remember, the more you practice tea-leaf reading, the more accurate your answers will be.

We wish you luck in finding the answers you seek!

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