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The Essential Guide to Tea Leaf Readings

By Mysticsense
May 06, 2023
The Essential Guide to Tea Leaf Readings
The Essential Guide to Tea Leaf Readings


If you’ve ever wondered how tea-leaf readings are conducted, look no further, as you’ll learn everything you need to know about tea divination in this essential guide. From its history and origin, preparation methods and understanding symbolism, we’ve got you covered on all things related to tea-leaf readings.

Mysticsense psychics are readily available for any questions you may have around tea-leaf readings - we offer phone, video and chat readings, to suit your preferences.

What Is the Practice of Reading Tea Leaves?

Reading tea leaves, also known as tasseography, is the act of distinguishing symbols and imagery amongst tea leaves, often in the form of gritty residue left behind in a drinking vessel.

This form of divination is simple and easy to perform, yet the messages produced by the tea leaves can be incredibly significant. Tasseography may be less popular than other forms of divination, such as tarot cards or rune stones, yet they are a fascinating tool that allows us to engage as deeply as possible with our intuitions, whilst revealing powerful information.

History and Origin of Tea Leaf Reading 

It is thought by many that tea-leaf readings originated in Ancient China, however this is highly unlikely. It’s much more likely that this art was born in mainland Europe instead. Tea arrived in Europe in the early 1600s, thanks to the Dutch East India Company, who brought it to Amsterdam.

Reading tea leaves was therefore a relatively new form of divination, appearing in Britain in the 17th Century after the widespread introduction of tea in the country. At this time, British people were highly superstitious, and the working class benefited from this new form of reading; it was cheaper and far easier than other forms of divination at the time.

In 1903, the tea bag significantly impacted the popularity of tea divination. This was because drinking tea via a tea bag didn’t leave the unique patterns required for divination.

Where Does the Word Tasseomancy Come From?

The word ‘tasseomancy’ is split into ‘tasse’ and ‘mancy’ with the former being the French translation for ‘cup’ and the latter being a Greek suffix meaning ‘divination’.

How Does Tasseography Work?

Similar to other forms of divination, reading tea leaves works as our energy is fused with the act taking place. When we focus closely on our intentions and let our emotions wash over us, the residue left behind in the drinking vessel reflects our thoughts, feelings and experiences by revealing various images.

It can even predict future events and offer advice regarding difficult life situations. Tasseography doesn’t just work with tea, either, as people also enjoy practicing coffee divination.

How to Prepare for a Tea Leaf Reading

When preparing for a tea-leaf reading, there are a few stages we recommend completing. This involves selecting the right tea, choosing the right tea pot and cup, setting the right mood and choosing the right tea-leaf reader.

Selecting the Right Tea

Firstly, we recommend choosing the right tea for your reading. The best teas to use for tea divination are loose-leaf teas that you enjoy drinking. Avoid using herbal teas or teas with additional flavorings, because their leaves can be difficult to read.

Choosing the Right Tea Pot and Cup

Another big factor to consider when preparing for a tea-leaf reading is choosing the right tea pot and cup. The material, color and design of the tea pot and cup can all affect the energy of the tea that you make, which in turn will affect the reading.


Porcelain or ceramic tea vessels are often favored during tea divination because they are neutral in energy, which won’t affect the energy of the tea itself. Another popular option is a glass tea drinking vessel, as it allows the reader to easily see patterns in the tea.


The color of the tea pot and cup is another important factor to consider during preparation. It’s common for light and neutral colors to be preferred, as they have neutral characteristics that don’t affect the energy of the tea.

We recommend avoiding dark-colored tea pots and cups because these colors can absorb the energy of the tea, making the reading more difficult to read.


The final factor to consider is the design of the tea drinking vessel. Simple, unadorned styles are often preferred to more complex options because they’re less distracting, allowing a psychic reader to focus on the patterns and symbols in the tea leaves.

Setting the Mood and Creating a Conducive Environment

There are a number of different things you can do to create a conducive environment for your tea-leaf readings, including:

  • Choosing a quiet and peaceful location
  • Setting the right lighting
  • Playing relaxing music
  • Using calming scents

Choose a Quiet and Peaceful Location

Choosing a quiet and peaceful location can create a conducive environment for a tea-leaf reading because it’s important that the reader is in a calm state of mind. Furthermore, a peaceful location will not affect the tea itself during the reading.

Set the Right Lighting

Lighting is another important factor when creating the right environment for a tea-leaf reading. Mysticsense recommend using candles or low lighting to create a magical atmosphere instead of using harsh lighting which is often distracting for the tea and the reader.

Play Relaxing Music 

We also recommend choosing a soundtrack that includes soft instrumental music or nature sounds for your tea-leaf reading. This kind of music is less distracting than pop music with lyrics, meaning more focus can be applied to the reading by the reader and the recipient of the reading.

Use Calming Scents

Scents are very popular within mystical practices, and this is no different with tasseography. When setting up your tea-leaf reading, it’s important to use some calming scents to relax the tea, the reading and the recipient. The following scents are some great options to consider when conducting a reading:

  • Incense
  • Sage sticks
  • Lavender essential oils
  • Chamomile essential oils

Choosing the Right Tea Leaf Reader

The final stage of preparing for a tea-leaf reading is choosing the most suitable reader for your personality. There are a few things to consider before choosing a reader, including:

  • Recommendations
  • Experience and training
  • Their approach
  • Communication style


The first thing to consider when choosing the most suitable tea-leaf reader for your personality is if you’ve been recommended them by a friend or family member. If you trust the opinion of the person who has recommended a reader to you, it’s likely that you will enjoy the experience, too.

It’s also worth exploring online reviews and testimonials from previous clients of the reader.

Experience and Training 

We recommend finding out how much tea-leaf reading experience a reader has had, as well as what kind of training they’ve had. They might have certificates they can provide as proof of their training. This can help put some confidence in their abilities before you choose your reader.

Their Approach

This is arguably the most important aspect to consider when choosing your tea-leaf reader. Because everybody is different, some reader’s approach might not sit well with your personality, therefore it’s worth matching yourself up with someone who compliments your personality.

Some readers may favor using traditional symbols and meaning, while others might opt for a more intuitive and personal approach. Ask your potential reader some questions before agreeing to their services to try and work out how they approach their readings. If you like what you hear in regard to their approach, it’s likely that you’ll be a good fit for each other.

Communication Style

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a tea-leaf reader is their communication style. You want to be confident that they’ll be able to effectively answer any questions that you have during a reading, as well as explaining the insights they gain during it.

The Tea Leaf Reading Process

In order to achieve meaningful results in tasseography, psychic tea readers should ensure that they follow the 7 steps outlined below:

1. Choosing Your Vessel 

Any vessel with a circular, bowl-shaped interior is perfect for a reading. In most cases, this will be a teacup, but anything similar is also suitable. In addition, it’s worth remembering to use a vessel with a light colored, opaque interior, as the dark residue of the leaves will be far easier to decipher on this type of surface.

2. Choosing the Right Type of Tea Leaves

Any tea leaves that are finely milled work best for tasseography. This is because their smaller, grittier consistency allows for the formation of clearer images. In comparison, large, chunky leaves do not produce the same accuracy and may also fail to stick to the interior properly.

3. Make the Tea

We recommend using roughly one teaspoon of tea leaves for a reading, as this is sufficient for a medium-sized teacup. Next, while pouring boiling water onto the leaves in the cup, make sure you visualize the questions or concerns you wish for the leaves to answer.

4. Drinking the Tea

Once the tea is fully brewed, begin to drink while keeping in mind any important questions you may have. Even if there is no particular question you are seeking an answer to, it is still important to remain clear-headed and present in the task at hand. The leaves will still reveal information or provide useful advice for you.

5. Flip the Cup

This next step is where your tea-leaf reading really comes to life. Just before your cup is empty, swill it around in three circular motions and place a saucer on top. Next, flip the cup and saucer upside down so that the remaining liquid is allowed to drain, leaving behind the tea-leaf residue in its unique pattern. 

6. Reading the Tea Leaves

Now for the most crucial part; the reading of the tea leaves. Lift the cup and place it back down with the interior facing upwards. Look inside and analyze the patterns displayed to you in the remnants. 

7. Interpretation of Symbols and Patterns 

It may take a while for any significant images or symbols to appear, but once they do, you can be sure that they will have a profound meaning. Don’t just look for large images - there will be smaller ones dotted around, adding to the overall picture conjured. Look at the images as a collective and interpret what you believe it means to you. Intuition is key. 

There is no right or wrong way to interpret what jumps out at you, as it is an incredibly personal process. If a particular image provides feelings of comfort, or another elicits a sense of uneasiness, these are all sensations to be recognized as significant regardless of what the image is itself.

Understanding the Symbols and Patterns

Generally speaking, the images produced by tea leaves will fall into one of four main categories; animals, nature, objects and mythical creatures. However, if an image appears that isn’t listed by any of the various tasseography guides out there, you can still interpret this according to what you believe best fits.

It’s worth remembering that reading tea leaves is highly personal, and the key is to use your gut feelings.

Common Symbols in Tea Leaf Reading

Here are a list of 61 common symbols found in tea-leaf readings:




Success and gain. Hard work has finally paid off.


You have found stability and been grounded by recent happenings.


You have protective energies surrounding you.


You are going to receive acknowledgement for your academic endeavors.


You may be on the receiving end of deceit soon, keep your guard up.


There is potentially a pregnancy on the way, or the start of a new career.


Unexpected good news is on the way, perhaps a wedding celebration.


The beginning of a new journey or challenge.


You may be feeling uncertain about the path ahead.


You may be feeling extra spiritual at the moment. Enlightenment.


Be wary of deceitful people in your life currently. You can’t trust everyone.


The completion of a difficult task or period in your life is on its way.


You may be worried that time is running out regarding a current project.


A gift or donation is on its way to you.


You may be seeking extra feelings of comfort and protection at the moment.


A recent project or journey is creating new opportunities for you.


New starts and beginnings. May also indicate a pregnancy or job offer.


An important message is coming your way. Take careful note of it.


You will find clarity and awakening in a previously unclear situation.


You may currently be struggling to stay grounded and stable.


A passionate whirlwind is in store. Remember to not get carried away.


You may feel that you want to give up on a current project. Persevere.


Look forward to a romantic gesture coming your way soon.


You may be feeling trapped in a current situation. Look for a way out.


A person’s true intentions will become clear sometime soon.


You may have to work extra hard to achieve your current projects.


Cherish your current friendships and do not take them for granted.


Feelings of love and contentment are here to stay.


You are about to receive an abundance of well-deserved good luck.


Potentially, a house move is on the way. Otherwise, it could indicate feelings of security.


Keep an eye out for potential dangers that may disrupt your current flow.


Enjoy your newly found freedom in life.


A new job or promotion is in store.


Find peace and solitude by spending extra time with nature.


You will demonstrate courage in response to a challenging situation.


You will find a solution to something that has been puzzling you recently.


Keep in mind that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.


Not all the facts and information will be revealed as they should be.


There may be a large obstacle to overcome soon. Stay determined.


Pain and heartbreak may be in store for you or someone close to you.


Seek precision in an important legal document. Read the fine print.

Oak tree

Look forward to lots of health and vitality coming your way.


Look to wise, older figures with experience in an area troubling you.


Take extra care looking after your finances.

Question mark

You may be faced with uncertainties soon. Take time figuring it out.


Can indicate fertility. May also suggest bravery during a difficult time.


The death of a current situation, leading to new beginnings.


An argument or legal issues are potentially in store.


A long journey awaits, physically or spiritually.


Your recent hard work will be rewarded soon.


You may feel extra generous with your loved ones.


You will feel positivity and hope soon. Life feels like it is falling into place.


Happiness is to follow from a period of intense darkness. You deserve this.


Be prepared for arguments in and around the home.


Look forward to upcoming social gatherings.


Short-lived despair and destruction, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


You may embark on a self-improvement journey soon. Enjoy the process.


Another unexpected factor may come into play in a current situation.


Explosive arguments will need appeasing soon.


Look forward to incoming prosperity.


A guardian angel is watching over you during tough times.

What Does Each Part of a Teacup Signify? 

It’s also worth exploring what each part of a teacup signifies during a tea-leaf reading. Some people don’t realize that the handle, rim, sides and bottom of a teacup all represent different things during readings.

The different zones can be utilized to measure timing (the likelihood of a situation happening soon), connection (the distance, whether physical or symbolic, between two individuals), or intensity (the presence of leaves on the rim, for instance, may indicate a significant life-altering event), depending on the question at hand.

The Handle

The handle is a really important part of a teacup in tea divination. It helps connect both the physical and abstract realms.

Any tea leaves that are located close to the handle may signify events related to the querent's immediate environment. Conversely, leaves situated directly across from the handle represent external factors and outside influences.

The Rim

Any tea leaves located close to the rim of a teacup can symbolize events that will take place in the present.

The Sides

Any tea leaves located close to the sides of a teacup can symbolize events that will take place in the near future.

The Bottom 

Any tea leaves located on the bottom of a teacup can symbolize events that will take place in the far future.

Tips for a Successful Tea Leaf Reading

There are many tips you can follow to increase the chances of a successful tea-leaf reading including - Practice and Patience, Trusting Intuition, Openness to Interpretation and Positive Attitude and Energy.

Practice and Patience

Like with any form of divination, it takes lots of practice and patience to start achieving successful tea-leaf readings. If, at first, you don’t achieve the results you were hoping for, don’t worry, stick with it and keep practicing and in time you will start to see more interesting results.

Trusting Intuition

One of the main keys to success in psychic reading is trusting your intuition, and this is no different in tasseography. Although you may find yourself at crossroads when trying to understand the symbolism of tea-leaf reading, you should back yourself and trust your intuition every time.

Openness to Interpretation

Although we are all subconsciously wanting to receive the answers we want to hear in tea-leaf readings, it is important to remain open to interpretation. Receiving answers that are different from the ones we want to hear can be important for shaping the next stages of our lives.

Positive Attitude and Energy 

Attitude and energy are two of the most important factors in any form of psychic reading. These directly affect what your readings say, so it’s crucial to remain positive during a reading. These give the querent the best opportunity of receiving an accurate reading.


Tasseography is a form of divination that provides immense comfort and valuable insight for many individuals. It is cheap, easy to perform, and most of us already have the ingredients to hand.

The versatility that reading tea leaves provides far exceeds that of most other divination tools, as there are endless possibilities of potential symbols and combinations. While the above guide is useful to refer to, ultimately, our own intuitions about what the symbols mean is far more important. 

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Psychic Melody
Psychic Melody
Intuitive/Empath Psychic Melody
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Victoria Jae
Victoria Jae
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Intuitive/Empath Kids of Consciousness
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