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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fortunes in the Coffee Grounds?

Black as the Devil;
Hot as Hell;
Pure as an Angel!
Note these well.
Then- "Sweet as Love!"

It's that time of year again everyone, National Coffee Month! Oh, I know, we've celebrated coffee in one way or another through the years. But today, if you wouldn't mind, instead of sipping the "history of coffee" or nibbling on the truth about whether there really is coffee in Coffee Cake, how about a crusade into the world of fortune telling as presented by a once notable brand of coffee called Chase & Sanborn?

It isn't a very large booklet, as a matter of fact, it only measures three inches tall by four inches wide. It's in fabulous condition considering it was published in 1897!

"If you want to improve your understanding, drink coffee." Sydney Smith

I was undecided as to whether I should share the entire book with you but after a bit of consideration and a few more gulps of coffee, I said to myself, "Spill the Beans!" I hope you enjoy it:)

Fortune Telling By Cards

Reading Character From Date of Birth

Signs and Superstitions in Common Use

Royal Gems & the Language of Flowers

Dreams and Their Meanings

Palmistry or Telling Fortune by the Palm of the Hand

Fortune Telling by the Grounds In a Tea or Coffee Cup

Or the ancient art of overturning a coffee cup and seeing the future in the patterns left behind by the grounds; Tasseography.

"Traditionally, coffee readers use Turkish coffee, or any coffee that has grinds that sit at the bottom of the cup. Most of the liquid in the coffee is drunk, but the sediment at the bottom is left behind. It is often believed that the drinker of the coffee should not read their own cup. There are at least two forms of coffee reading. Both require that the cup be covered with the saucer and turned upside-down.

Some traditions, such as in Romania, require that the sediments in the cup be swirled around the inside of the cup until they cover the majority of the cup's inside surface. Other traditions, such as Turkish and Middle Eastern, do not require this swirling but do require that the cup be turned towards yourself for showing your own fortune. The coffee grounds are given time to settle and dry against the cup before a reading begins.

Many interpretations for symbols exist, but one common thread is the color of the symbols. Since most cups used are white or ivory and the grounds are dark, strong contrast exists for the symbols. White is considered a "good" symbol foretelling of generally positive things for the drinker, while the grounds themselves are considered to form "bad" symbols. Symbols can be many things, including people, animals, and inanimate objects. Usually, the fortune teller will group nearby symbols together for a prediction. After a reading, the drinker will be asked to "open the heart". This is done by placing the right thumb at the inside bottom of the cup and twisting clockwise slightly. This will leave an impression behind that the fortune teller will interpret as the drinker's inner thoughts or emotions." wikipedia

Enjoy the month of August everyone before you know it...And yes, if you are wondering about that coffee pot at the top of this post, it's the pot I use everyday to make my coffee. It's a percolator! Marion drinks tea which she makes in the Keurig:)

Resources
1. Coffee Tasseography - Fortune Telling with Coffee
2. How to Read Tea Leaves
3. List of Symbols

60 comments:

  1. Interesting tales on coffee, Louise. Happy Coffee Month!

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    1. Thanks, Jenn. Happy Coffee Month to you also!

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  2. You have such a fabulous collection of old books! I'm so glad you share them with us - they're all wonderful. Coffee is terrific stuff - such a rich flavor. It's been years since I've thought about Chase & Sanborn - I wonder whatever happened to them? Anyway, really fun post - thanks.

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    1. Thank you John. I'm always on the lookout for more books, lol...It's my pleasure to share them. I really like cooking with coffee also. It offers a hidden depth of flavor. I think the label for Chase & Sanborn is still used but I don't know who owns them. Thanks for visiting...

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  3. Hi Louise , what a wonderful story history of coffee . I use a percolator ...gotta have my coffee inthe morings to start my day ....by the way where do you still find a pound of coffee that makes 200 cups . :) thanks for sharing .

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    1. If you find a pound of coffee that makes 200 cups, Nee, be sure and let me know. Don't you have coffee made with chicory down by you?

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  4. So interesting...I'm happy you decided to share the book with us.

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    1. Thank you Karen, it was a fun post to share!

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  5. August is quickly passing! You are right in reminding us to enjoy the time we have. There is a hint of fall in the air around here already.

    I'm not sure one is able to buy an entire POUND of coffee any longer. I think the size has grown smaller, just as there is no longer a five-pound bag of sugar.

    I've never heard of using coffee grounds to tell fortunes, just tea leaves. And - we are mainly tea drinkers around here.

    Have a good week ahead!

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    1. The days are "flying" by Nellie. There is definitely a hint of Fall in the air. Good thing I also enjoy Autumn, lol...

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  6. That tea pot is cute and very practical, Louise!

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  7. This post is so neat! I remember Chase and Sanborn's coffee in the stores. The little booklet is adorable. I read some of it and I will come back and read all. You can get such a good idea of the times. I checked out all my families birthrates and most didn't fit. Isn't that the way.
    Love your percolator pot. I have an old percolator urn that I have used for guests. It is always a conversation starter.
    Great post.
    Have a blessed week, dear friend, Ginger

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post Ginger. I too remember Chase & Sanborn. The next time I go to the store I'm going to check and see of there is any there.

      I use to have a Percolator Urn. If I looked hard enough, I could probably find it!

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  8. Hi Louise,
    Interesting post on coffee! And that book is more than a century old? Wow!
    I'm both a coffee and tea lover, "opposite attracts' in this case! LOL!
    Though it would be difficult to read my fortune from my coffee cup, as I drink instant coffee, as I suspect most of us do! :)
    Thanks for sharing these interesting information and Happy Coffee Month!

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    1. It's been a fabulous Coffee Month, Joyce. I drink both tea and coffee also. I try to stay away from instant though. I should really try "reading" my grounds one day, or not...

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  9. Dear Louise, I bet you had each reader looking at his or her hands! I just cannot seem to make out the lines. I must have spent 15 minutes looking at my hands! It was a fun post. Thank you. I love coffee.
    I hope all is well with you and yours and I keep you in my prayers. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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    1. You are so funny, Catherine. Now that I think about it, I bet you're right! I can't make out the lines on my hands either. Could be they are suffering from too much garden work, lol...Thanks for visiting. Prayers are much appreciated. Only two more treatments to go!

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  10. I love coffee. This was really interesting. When I was young, I always thought it would be a neat party trick to read someone's palm, an interesting way to meet someone. But, I never did learn how. LOL Maybe I should do the coffee grounds instead.
    Love all the work/research you do.

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    1. Thanks Debbie. I still think it would make a "neat" party trick. Just put a few shots in the coffee!!!

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  11. i like your old-school percolator! i'd be lost without my coffee, i tell you. lost. :)

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    1. I LOVE my percolator, Grace. I'd be lost without IT!

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  12. Such a fun post, Louise! I love all the interesting facts I learn from your blog. I’ve heard of people who read tea leaves, but coffee grounds are new to me! Have a great day!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed your visit, Kathy. Too bad we can't read tea leaves and coffee grinds virtually:)

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  13. Neat! I use the Keurig for coffee, but my temperature-controlled electric kettle for my tea.

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    1. Temperature-controlled electric tea kettle, Channon? I do declare!

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  14. hi louise, thx for sharing this little booklet with us, that's interesting to know about all these reading ..and also coffee reading..i nvr heard of that! you know over here, it's quite a common sight of butterflies in the house when someone at home just passed on..hmm..a little different comparing with the dove where death is foretold...oh dear, i make sure i dont stir my coffee with a fork! LOL! i'm so superstitious!

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    1. You are so funny, Lena. I'm delighted you enjoyed this post. Now we know who the superstitious one is in the "gang":)

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  15. Oh man, what a way to unwind or start the day. I wonder if a single lb makes that much every time?

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Angela. I'm thinking pound probably makes nearly the same amount. Not sure if it would be so many cups though:)

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  16. This is really funny!I enjoyed your post. I am a truly coffee lover infact I buy it straight from Italy now. Your collection of books is really interesting and I did't know there was a national coffee month!

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    1. Italian coffee is my very best favorite, Alida. Sometimes I am able to find Medaglia D'Oro at the grocery store. It's the same brand my grandmother used:)

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  17. I loved seeing the booklet! I'm glad you shared it with us! Such interesting lore. My Mom still uses an old electric percolator. Dad has had to replace the plug many times. She won't give that thing up.

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    1. That's so funny Reeni. My percolator cooks on the stove though. It isn't one of the plug ins but I like them too, lol...I think I like to use percolators because it fills the kitchen with the wonderful aroma of coffee. The others don't seem to do that. Thanks for popping in!

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  18. I love coffe always! and this post is lovely, I love you sharing this post Louise:))

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  19. I didn't realize it's national coffee month! Yay! I LOVE coffee. Can't function without it. Great post Louise!

    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

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    1. Personally, Anne, I think every month should be Coffee Month!

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  20. I've never been able to drink coffee, no matter how much milk and sugar there is!

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    1. Neither one of my children drink coffee, duckie. Some bellies just can't take it:)

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  21. Louise, I sent you two emails. Have you gotten them? I was wondering why you did not respond until I saw your comment today.

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  22. My birthday is in January and when I was a kid and learned that garnet was the stone and my friend's was ruby, I was so angry at the birthday gods. I wanted ruby - something worthwhile. So now you know how shallow I was even as a child. :)

    I have one cup of coffee a day - sometimes none. I always use it in chocolate cooking though.

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    1. I'm not sure how shallow that is Maureen. Mine is the Pearl and I'm not too crazy about pearls for some reason. I actually like garnets:)

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  23. Remarkable! You have the ability to make the everyday interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I hope your week is off to a great start. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Mary. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post.

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  24. Louise here in Greece we make a coffee similar to Turkish and even if it sounds stupid (at least to me) there are people here who go to women who can read the cup of coffee! Amazing ha?

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    1. I have had the pleasure of Greek coffee, Katerina. It is similar to Turkish coffee which I also like. Many old world customs involved reading the leaves or in this case the grounds, lol...

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  25. I adore coffee in all forms, though I'm a tea drinker, too. August has been a crazy month so far, so my coffee consumption has been higher than usual. Then again, since according to the chart my character has a tendency towards nervous disorders, perhaps so much coffee isn't a good thing. ;-)

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    1. I don't know about that chart Linda. I think you are just one busy "gal". That's a good thing if you're having fun too!!!

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  26. Hubby's the coffee guy; I drink tea. I tried my idiot mother's Keurig when I was cleaning out the trailer and found the tea curiously lacking in flavor, probably because the water doesn't get hot enough. I gave it to someone who wanted it, and was helping me haul away the crap. That little booklet is a hoot. Horoscopes, card reading and palmistry all in one! Vast entertainment with your morning coffee!

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    1. You know Marjie, Marion says sometimes the Keurig doesn't make her tea water hot enough either. I boil water for tea in the afternoon and perk coffee in the morning. I guess you could say I'm old fashioned or I just like noisy pots!

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  27. Yes, I heard so much about the fortune in the cup of coffee...I always have a big cup of coffee in the morning...and believe or not it is something that I look forward in the morning...and I take my with a little milk, no sugar.
    Thanks for this fun post Louise...have a wonderful week ahead my dear :D

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    1. I must confess, Juliana, I use much to much sugar in my coffee. However there was a time I took none. Thanks for dropping by...

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  28. I see no point in getting up unless there is coffee. What a fascinating post.

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    1. My sister says the same thing Pattie. I LOVE mornings so I think I would probably get up even if I weren't having coffee. I would, however, go running to the nearest coffee pot ASAP!

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  29. Hi Louise, great posting. Love to read this fortune telling, very interesting! I like your vintage collection, thanks for sharing it with us. BTW, I'm a coffee lover need at least 2 cups a day.

    Have a wonderful week ahead.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it Amelia. My limit is usually 2 cups also. Sometimes, three.

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  30. Really amazing blog!!! I enjoyed the complete article? enormous written.Topaz Voyance

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    1. I'm so glad, Sheamus:) Drop by anytime...

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came to early,
none returned to late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise