tea leaf reading faq

We’re about a month into 2014, and we don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t mind getting some insight into what’s to come. Enter Abella Arthur, 3 of Cups occulist, with her impressive tea leaf reading skills. We asked her about the art of tea leaf reading, its history, and other fun and fascinating things. Check out the 5 things you didn’t know about tea leaf reading.

1. How did tea leaf reading originate?

The making of leaves for tea originated in China. Then tea made its way to India, and then on to Europe, with the Dutch being the first importers of tea. Tea was extremely expensive, and often only royalty or the very wealthy could afford it.

One story says that one afternoon, a group of tea leaf drinkers were sitting around talking about their affairs, when suddenly they saw symbols in their cups that reflected the topics of conversation. Thus, tea leaf reading was born.

2. What does it entail? 

Someone can get a tea leaf reading whenever they would like their past, present, and/or future fortune told. It’s especially welcome for those who fear tarot cards or other divination tools. After all, there is only positive magic in tea.

Guests sit around and sip their tea while engaging in friendly chit chat, thinking about what they might want to know, and waiting their turn to have their fortunes told.
It takes about ten to thirty minutes to drink tea comfortably, allowing for the energy and things on the mind of the tea drinker to invigorate the reading of the leaves.

Depending on what has been agreed to for your booking, the actual reading of the leaves can take anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. Sometimes other reading tools such as tarot, palm, angel cards, or a crystal ball conclude the tea leaf reading.

Each guest will leave about two teaspoons in the cup – enough tea left so they don’t need to suffer the bitter taste of tea leaves on their tongue, and so that the reader can give the reading. Once seated with the reader, the guest will sip a final small amount (with at least one teaspoon or less in the cup) and then hold the teacup with their left hand and with intention on what they would like to know.

The reader then takes the cup, connects to the sitter and the leaves, and begins to read the guests fortune.

3. What kind of tea does a tea leaf reader use? Are some teas better to use than others?

Plain loose leaf tea (without twigs, powders, fruits, flowers, etc) is ideal because it makes different shapes and sizes and creates better images for the reading. A small and slender leaf, (Black Chinese, Jasmine from DAVIDsTea, Green, Earl Grey, Ceylon, Keemun Classic Tea) is great. 40 grams of tea serves 20 cups.

4. What are readers looking for when reading tea? Does a certain tea leaf placement mean certain things?
The tea leaf reader seeks out symbols, letters, and other shapes to interpret. They connect these shapes and patterns to each other, and this forms a story for the seeker.

The reader might see symbols such as a key (moving), a mountain (promotion), a ring (getting married), or a letter (a message), and depending on where these metaphorical objects are located, this will indicate whether it is related to the past, present, or future.

5. What kind of questions are best to ask during a tea leaf reading session? Is the same cup used for all the questions?

The sitter can ask all kinds of questions, similar to any other divination type reading (i.e. tarot), but popular fortune-telling questions are: When will I get married? Will I start a romance? Will I have children? Will I win the lottery?

However, often the reader will peer into the cup and offer a general reading (to start), and the seeker can ask about anything — even for advice.

The cup is used for the entire reading. So after the general read, as the seeker offers their input – new symbols can materialize from the leaves along with sudden psychic insight.