How to Read Tea Leaves

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor
Use a wide, shallow teacup so you can see the tea leaves easily.

Tasseography, or reading tea leaves to predict the future, is one of the many unique uses of loose tea. The remnants of a cup of tea drunk by a person with a burning mystical question can reveal what lies ahead. Learn to read tea leaves with specific preparation techniques.

Bring water almost to a boil in a teapot or a sauce pan on the stovetop. Once the water reaches the desired temperature, pour it over black tea leaves to steep in a teapot. Use 1 tsp. tea leaves for each cup of water. Allow the tea to steep for 3-5 minutes.

Pour tea into a plain teacup. Choose a cup that is standard size with a matching saucer. Allow some of the tea leaves to flow into the cup. If you don't get enough leaves in the cup, swirl the pot a few times immediately before pouring the tea.

Instruct the person whose future is to be read to drink the tea, leaving a small amount of liquid at the bottom of the cup.

Hold the teacup in the hand opposite from your writing hand. Close your eyes and swirl the cup clockwise three times. Try to swirl so the leaves move toward the lip of the cup. While swirling, silently ask the question that you want the tea leaves to address.

Turn the cup upside down and place it on the saucer so the remaining liquid drains out of the cup. Allow 7 seconds to pass, then replace the cup right side up with the handle facing the person whose leaves are being read.

Examine the leaves to see what recognizable shapes appear in the cup. Consult a guide to read the tea leaves to determine the future. Printed guides to leaf reading are available at online sources (see Resources below).