Answers to what your future holds could be found in the bottom of your cup. That's according to a divination practice referred to as Tasseography. Tasseography is the practice of interpreting patterns in tea leaves or coffee grounds in a cup after drinking it. (Tea is the most prominent source followed by coffee, and sometimes wine sediments.)
I know coffee and tea are used for many reasons, from providing relief for bug bites, to being an active ingredient in beauty regiments, but predicting your future?!- I had no idea!
As it turns out, tasseography has been around for thousands of years. The theory behind this divination ritual is that after a person drinks a cup of tea made with loose tea leaves, the empty cup is handed over to a reader who interprets the meaning of the patterns formed by the tea leaves in the cup. (http://healing.about.com/od/tealeafreading/a/tasseography.htm)
I consulted our in house tea enthusiast, Kris Houser, about this practice. As she explained, some cultures believe that everything in the universe is connected and there is a reason why we intersect with every single thing we come across. Tea leaves are no different and lend themselves to different interpretations.
It turns about Tasseography is not the only practice where tea is interpreted. "Agony of the Leaf" is the process when a specialty rolled leaf unfurls after being exposed to hot water during the steeping process. It can expand quite drastically and in differing speeds. Primarily in Asian cultures, it's believed there is an artistry and story to this unfurling, and the different speeds are open to interpretation.
It is fascinating to learn about how the preparation and enjoyment of tea (and coffee) are studied and interpreted in different cultures.
To learn more about Tasseography visit http://coffeetea.about.com/od/historyculture/a/Coffee-Reading.htm