A Brief History of Tasseography
Tasseography — reading one’s future in a cup — has its origins in China with the interpretation of tea leaves, according to Mediterranean cuisine expert,Amy Riolo. It then most likely headed westward along the Silk Road.
To understand the Greek style of tasseography, it’s important to point out that Greek coffee is different from an espresso or an American coffee; the pulverized bean is mixed with water and sugar, and brought to a boil in a little pot called a brikki. When it’s foamy, it’s poured into a cup unfiltered. The fact that it is unfiltered is the key difference, and what lends itself to fortune telling.
This style of coffee originated in Ethiopia before the Middle Ages, then spread north in the 17th century into the Ottoman Empire, through Egypt and into Greece. And the ritual stuck in many of those countries.