Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy or tassology) is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments.
The terms derive from the French word tasse (cup), which in turn derives from the cognate Arabic word tassa, and the Greek suffixes -graph (writing), -logy (study of), and -mancy (divination).
The first inklings of Western tasseography can be traced to medieval European fortune tellers who developed their readings from splatters of wax, lead, and other molten substances. This evolved into tea-leaf reading in the seventeenth century, a short time after Dutch merchants introduced tea to Europe via trade routes to China**To read someone's tea leaves, you must prepare a cup of tea with loose tea leaves. A small, white cup with no designs or patterns on the inside walls is ideal. Have the querant drink the tea, leaving a minute amount of liquid in the bottom of the cup, as well as some tea leaves. Holding the cup in the left hand, he or she should slowly swirl the contents of the cup around three times clockwise. Try to make sure that the leaves are moved towards the rim of the tea cup. Then the querant should place the cup upside down on the saucer, holding it there for 7 seconds while letting the fluids drain. When the tea cup is placed right side up again, the handle should be facing the reader while he or she interprets the symbols and images.
Many leaves point to a full life. Lots of specific images symbolize many important issues in the person's life. Contradicting images imply indecision in the person's mind. The larger images are the more important issues in the person's life. Objects on the left of the handle may denote the past and objects to the right may be in the future. It is commonly believed that symbols near the rim of the tea cup refer to the present or the near future, while those towards the bottom of the cup are seen as the past. Sometimes the top of the cup is seen as lucky and the bottom is seen as unlucky.
These are only guidelines to help you get started. A genuine reading is dependent upon the readers own interpretation of the symbols.
Working on a chart of the interpretations...