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What is Coffee Ground Reading and Brief History – How to Cook Turkish Coffee

by | Dec 5, 2017

Tasseography or Coffee ground reading actually started as a Tea leaf reading in China in the 16th century. Tea was replaced with coffee in Balkan countries and the middle east in the early 17th century. Since then many have adapted the form of fortune-telling mixed with pleasure. In my experience it has become like a ritual for a pleasant time to spend with people, having a fun cup of coffee with a very informative conversation and pointers for the future.

The actual reading means the reader interprets the symbols imprinted in coffee grounds left in the cup as we drink up the black brew and the grounds dry in the coffee cup turned upside down. Each reader definitely will have their own way of reading coffee grounds and interpreting the symbols. So in a way, there is no specific rules to reading the coffee grounds, but there are many pointers as to how to do it. Mostly a reader will just interpret the symbols based on the area in the cup – as different areas tell different specific information, such as past, family, work, etc., again depending on how a reader has the cup divided in their mind. Everyone can adapt their own way of reading. But for the broader public to have an easier go at reading coffee grounds, it helps to know a few symbols to distinguish between the symbols you find in your coffee grounds.

The art of cooking the real Turkish coffee

There are two ways to cook genuine Turkish coffee. Both however require Turkish coffee grinds and water, the instant coffee just won’t do. I will explain the process as my mother and my grandmother explained it to me.

Now as I said there are two ways to cook genuine Turkish coffee. For both, you will need a coffee pot, or Jezwa as we call it and a coffee cup, obviously if you don’t have Jezwa a smaller pot will do just fine. Now I should probably tell you that genuine Turkish coffee will be a lot stronger brew than you are used to if you normally drink Starbucks or Tim Horton’s coffee. So let’s see how we can cook up genuine Turkish Coffee. As I said there are two options, they are not so different, and they depend more on what people prefer in terms of process. So this is one way of doing it.

Instructions on How to Cook Turkish Coffee

First, take Jezwa and a coffee cup. The process is fairly simple, it is basically just the proper measuring system. Let’s say we are cooking coffee for two:

1st Option:

1. Measure 2 cups water and pour it into Jezwa.Tea Leaf Coffee Ground Reading

2. Now for each cup of coffee grab 1 full teaspoon of coffee and add to the water, mix it a bit, so it blends well, and put on the stove.

3. I do warmly suggest you stand by the stove while cooking, as the brew has to boil, and as it will boil, the brew will rise up pouring over the Jezwa edge if you do not eye the boiling brew carefully and actually lift it up from the stove once you see it rise a bit. As you see it boil and start rising up to the edge of Jezwa, that would indicate your coffee is ready, well unless you prefer it stronger, then hold a bit for the brew to drop back in Jezwa and put it over the stove again to rise up again, you can repeat this process up to 3 times, after that it just tastes burned unless you like the smoky taste, I guess that is up to individuals.

4. As it is cooked, just pour the coffee brew into two cups and enjoy your coffee.

Now there is another way of cooking up genuine Turkish coffee and it is pretty much the same with one little twist.

2nd Option:

1. Here you would measure the same, but then put only the water on the stove and wait until it boils,

2. then take the Jezwa off the stove and put the same amount of coffee in the water, slowly though, as the water has boiled and as you add the coffee it tends to rise up fairly quickly, so take time with it and slowly stir the coffee grinds into the water. I would just tap it gently on top of the water, just to dip the coffee grinds in the water, once you see it blended well, you will have to do the boil-over part,

3. so just take Jezwa and put it back on the stove, but hold on to it because the brew will rise fairly quickly so you will have to take it off the stove unless you want it to boil over and make a mess. Repeat the boiling up to 3 times for stronger coffee, but as I said, only if you like it stronger. I usually just boil it once.

4. As it is cooked, just pour the coffee brew into two cups and enjoy your coffee.

With coffee ground readings I do not recommend you putting sugar or milk in the coffee you are drinking. You can drink it with some sugar cubes, which you hold in your hand and just soak in coffee and suck on them, or put a piece of chocolate in your mouth and slowly let it melt in your mouth for flavor while drinking coffee on top of it if the coffee tastes too bitter. But if you make drinking coffee a habit, over time it does not taste bitter at all.

Prepare the coffee cup for coffee ground reading

Now that we know how to cook up genuine Turkish coffee, we need to look at how to prepare the coffee cup for a reading. Now obviously drinking the coffee is the first step, as we need to drink the liquid out and let the coffee grounds sit at the bottom of the coffee cup. Make sure you drink as much liquid as possible, almost drink it dry.


1. Now as you drink up, hold your cup up with the hand that feels most comfortable to gently swirl the coffee cup a few times, usually I would swirl it 3 times, that is about enough, and then

2. just carefully turn the cup upside down on the coffee cup plate, and let it dry a bit.

3. After about 5 minutes I add a tissue to the plate and let the cup sit upside down on a tissue for about another 5 minutes, so it dries as best as possible.

Now as it dries enough to turn it back upright you can go ahead and look for symbols, and of course, you can start your reading. Look for shapes in coffee grounds, now they could be traced by coffee grounds or actual coffee ground symbols. The darker the symbol, the stronger the meaning in terms of impact – movement, the lighter the symbol, the more it signifies the actual state of being. You can look for the meanings of symbols in our symbol dictionary.

Turkish Coffee Ground Readings Symbols

Different ways to read Coffee grounds

There are so many different ways to read Coffee grounds it is not possible to describe one and call it a proper way, as every coffee ground reader will adapt to their own way and sometimes use only a handful of symbols to interpret the prediction.

I encourage you to try and find your own way. There is always a first step to discovering your own coffee reading talents and begin predicting the future. Take a picture of your coffee cups and write down what you find, and see what happens. It is however also a fun social event to have a few friends over and drink coffee and play with interpreting symbols.

No matter what the tool is, discovering your inner reader is always a blissful event and a great revelation of your inner self. Have fun with it and enjoy creating your reality.

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Writer Judita Tanko

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