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Written by Lillian Maclean Updated on December 01, 2023

How to Interpret a Coffee Cup Reading - Unlock Its Symbolism

How to Interpret a Coffee Cup Reading - Unlock Its Symbolism

Coffee cup divination is a fascinating practice, but deciphering the patterns and symbols formed by coffee grounds can be complex. Additionally, it requires plenty of patience since you need to develop your intuition for accurate interpretations. Without the right mindset or skills, you risk making false interpretations, leading to wasted time and frustration.

This beginner-friendly guide will help you read the symbolism in your coffee cup correctly and steer you in the right direction. But if you need additional clarity on your reading, it may be best to seek the insights of a credible psychic on California Psychics. That way, you can continue to practice your interpretation methods without sacrificing timely insights.

Quick Overview: How to Read a Coffee Cup

  1. Drink the Coffee with Intention: As you drink your coffee, infuse it with the intention of what you’d like guidance or answers on. Here’s more on drinking the cup properly.
  2. Swirl the Cup Three Times: Once you’re done, cover the cup with its saucer and swirl it three times. Discover why you shouldn’t skip this step.
  3. Flip the Cup and Lift it From the Saucer: Flip the cup in one swift motion and watch for common omens of good luck. These are some of the omens that can present.
  4. Divide the Cup: Divide your cup according to the different areas of life and begin to look for symbols. Explore the best way to divide your cup.
  5. Begin Your Interpretation: Consider the context, placement, thickness, and size of the symbols you notice for clearer insights. Here are some tips for interpreting.

How to Read a Coffee Cup?

The steps below act as guideposts during your coffee cup reading, providing greater confidence and certainty. That way, you won’t have to guess your way through the process. Just make sure you’re using Turkish coffee because it has thing grounds and is traditionally used.

1. Drink the Coffee with Intention

As with any divination practice, establishing an intention for your coffee cup reading is imperative. In this case, you can infuse your intention into your coffee by sipping on it. Drink your coffee while thinking of what you’d like answered, such as “What can I expect in my love life?” or hold the intention that you would like clear general insights.

Ensure you take time sipping your coffee, as rushing the process can put tense or anxious energy into the reading. While some people take only 3 to 5 sips of coffee, you can do whatever feels right. Just leave at least one sip worth of liquid for the best results.

2. Swirl the Cup Three Times

Once you’re done drinking, you’ll need to cover the cup with a saucer and swirl the cup counterclockwise three times. Doing so will bless the cup and clear it of any negative energy. Additionally, it will help to spread the grounds evenly around the cup. If you want, you can hold the cup up to chest level and say a prayer to bring protection and positivity in.

3. Flip the Cup and Lift it From the Saucer

Next, you’ll need to flip your cup while using the saucer to keep the top of the cup covered. Ensure the cup is fully sealed to avoid spilling and flip the cup with one swift movement. Let the grounds cool once the cup has been flipped and set for 5-10 minutes.

After the cup has settled for the appropriate time, you can lift the cup up from the saucer. Now, you need to keep an eye out for what happens to the grounds once you lift the cup away because depending on what happens, it’s believed to carry a significant omen. If the grounds remain in the cup, you can proceed to the next step, as there’s nothing significant.

However, if a big chunk of coffee grounds falls on the saucer, it’s an omen that all of your worries will soon dissipate. If the grounds fall and form a pile on the saucer, it’s a sign that money will soon come your way. Alternatively, if the cup and saucer are sealed and can be lifted without separating, it’s called a “prophet’s cup”.

It’s believed that if you get the “prophet’s cup”, you shouldn’t read it since it’s a “false” reading. That said, you can consult with a psychic if you’d like a second opinion.

4. Categorize Cup Areas by Life Themes

Before you start looking for symbols in your cup, you’ll need to categorize areas of the cup based on life themes. The most popular way to do this is with the “five section division”, where you assign a section for love, finances, family, present, and future. This allows for greater context and clarity during your reading, which means more accurate predictions.

This is how you should organize the different sections of your cup according to this method.

  • Handle side (left or right, depending on which hand held it) = This will be the love section.
  • Front rim side (opposite of the handle) = This section will deal with your finances and wealth.
  • Bottom of cup = This part of your cup will discuss home and family matters.
  • Upper rim (upper side between the handle and front rim) = You can look into your present energy here.
  • Lower rim (lower side between the handle and “front” rim) = This area will bring you insights about the future.

If you’d like to experiment with other categorization methods, you can try the past, present, future technique or the halves method. With the first method, the bottom of the cup symbolizes the past, the middle is the present, and the top the future. For the second, split the cup into a left and right side. You can assign one side as the “yes” side and the other as the “no” side for yes/no inquiries.

Once you’ve divided your cup, you can look for symbols within the coffee grounds. This can take some practice but stay patient and try to get creative with the shapes. If you’re not familiar with the meaning of each shape, you should check out a symbols guide that touches upon the most common ones.

5. Begin Your Interpretation

Now that you’ve identified some of the shapes in your cup, you’ll need to consider the context of the symbols. Depending on which section the symbol falls into and what surrounds it, the energy of the message can change. Check to see if there are any surrounding symbols and if they feel positive or negative. Try to look at each symbol as a part of the greater story.

Moreover, it’s believed that the placement of the shapes can indicate how important an event or situation may be. The shapes and symbols that appear on the edge and center of the saucer are said to represent the less important events in one’s life. On the other hand, the symbols in the center and periphery of the cup will be the most important.

You should also consider the amount of grounds that accumulate in each section of the cup and saucer. Not only that, but the more grounds that went into shaping a particular symbol will be more important compared to those with less. When the grounds are thicker around a particular symbol, it’s more likely to be literal than symbolic.

One last consideration to remember is the size of each symbol and its relativity to other symbols. Those that take up more space in the cup are more important than smaller shapes on the saucer. The more bold and noticeable a symbol is, the more relevance it should hold throughout your coffee cup reading interpretation.

Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings

While many symbols can appear during coffee cup readings, the ones below appear the most. I encourage you to follow your intuition when interpreting the symbols in your cup, as it plays a significant role in the accuracy of the reading.

The House, Bridge, and Mountain

Symbol Interpretation
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 1. House
– Often represents stability, security, and the physical home or dwelling.
– Can indicate a sense of grounding and a solid foundation in one’s life.
– Can be an omen of moving or changing location.
– Could indicate some big development in one’s soul.
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 2. Bridge
– May signify a time of growth, transformation, or a shift in perspective.
– Can symbolize the connection between people, ideas, or situations.
– Highlights the ability to overcome challenges and navigate difficult situations.
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 3. Mountains
– Can indicate that you’re dealing with challenges or that they will soon come.
– May suggest you possess the inner strength and determination to overcome challenges.
– Can represent personal growth, achievement, and reaching new heights

People, Animals, and Transportation

Symbol Interpretation
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 4. People
– Can symbolize relevant people from the past, present, or future.
– The shape of the grounds can give additional hints to whom it may be. E.g., if they’re tall, heavy set, wear glasses, etc.
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 5. Animals
– Often symbolize specific traits, qualities, or behaviors. E.g., a dog can represent a loyal friend.
– Can indicate that a particular message or guidance is being conveyed to you.
– Consider the animal’s qualities and their relevance to your situation or question.
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 6. Transportation
– Often symbolize journeys, both literal and metaphorical.
– They may indicate a desire for travel and exploration.
– Vehicles can symbolize momentum and progress in various areas of life.
– Can also convey a sense of speed, urgency, or restlessness, depending on the context.

Birds, Pen, and Eye

Symbol Interpretation
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 7. Bird
– A sign that news is on the way.
– The size of the bird can give hints about how important the news will be.
– A bird in the coffee cup’s center or the saucer could represent life-changing news.
– If it’s at the periphery, then it’s small news.
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 8. Pen/Pencil
– Symbolic of a new door opening in your life which ushers in a new chapter.
– The pen and paper can represent creativity, inspiration, and the act of creation. Perhaps through speaking or writing.
– The pen can be a symbol of learning, education, and the acquisition of knowledge.
Common Coffee Cup Symbolism and Meanings 9. Eye
– Often associated with heightened awareness, keen perception, and the ability to see things clearly.
– Can also represent intuition and psychic abilities.
– Can also symbolize protection against negativity or the evil eye.
– Another representation is the presence of divine guidance and protection.


Much like symbols, letters can be interpreted as symbolic or literal messages. For instance, a certain letter may be sending a message about a literal person, place, or object. 

  • A — New beginning
  • B — Trouble & conflict
  • C — Children
  • D — Domestic matters
  • E — Unexpected news
  • F — New connections


Numbers play a major part in many divination practices and if you see a particular number in your cup, you should pay special attention to it. 

  • 0 — Repeating cycles
  • 1 — A new start
  • 2 — Having to choose between two options
  • 3 — An important meeting or connection
  • 4 —Bad luck, envy
  • 5 — Incoming success & change
  • 6 — Intimate matters
  • 7 — Expansion
  • 8 — Good luck

Additional Symbols

  • Lines — Vertical lines are said to represent your goals and the thicker they appear, the more auspicious. If the line reaches the rim of the cup it’s very good luck. Straight lines symbolize a clear path to success while broken lines signify some difficulty.
  • Dots — Seeing dots can symbolize money or information coming your way.
  • Triangle — A sign of incoming change.
  • Circle — An omen of guaranteed success.
  • Square — Comfort and peace coming into your life.
  • Heart —  Love is around the corner.

Best Sites for a Psychic Reading

Trying to interpret all the symbols coherently can be challenging. I recommend consulting with a psychic to get more details about your coffee cup’s symbology, which helps ensure greater accuracy and clarity.

1. California Psychics – Best Overall for Psychic Readings

California Psychics

  • 300+ psychics available
  • Wide selection of psychic gifts
  • Strict vetting of its readers
  • Karma rewards program
  • $1, $2, or $4 per minute

California Psychics is my top recommendation for personalized coffee cup interpretations because its readers possess various gifts. You’ll get to choose from empaths, mediums, clairvoyants, clairaudients, and more. This is useful since a psychic can look at a picture of your cup and use their gifts for additional insights.

I feel comfortable using California Psychics because of how strict its vetting process is for applicant psychics. The platform highlights that, on average, it only brings on 2% of all applicants and that there’s even follow-up monitoring of all new psychics. Knowing this is quite reassuring because you know that you’ll get credible interpretations no matter the psychic.

California Psychics’ high costs reflect the quality you get, but it can feel inaccessible depending on your budget. That said, as a newbie, you’ll qualify for its promotional packages and get to choose between $1, $2, or $4 per minute.

2. Purple Garden – Use Its Mobile App To Get Insights On the Fly

Purple Garden

  • Introduction videos on profiles
  • 2% cashback on all readings
  • Journeys community feature
  • “Top Accuracy” badges
  • Transparent reviews

Getting psychic guidance on Purple Garden is convenient because of its user-friendly mobile app. You can use it to clarify the symbolism of your coffee cup reading and quickly find a reader to chat with. The app is convenient if you don’t want to be tied down during your reading, as you can use it on the go.

I noticed that connecting to accurate psychics on Purple Garden is simple because there’s “Top Accuracy” badges. These badges will appear on the profiles of readers with positive feedback from their clients about how accurate their insights were. So, if you want to be sure you can rely on the symbolic meanings you get, you’ll feel at ease.

Something to keep in mind is that many Purple Garden psychics have lengthy bios. But you can watch a psychic’s introduction video if you don’t have the time or patience to read through them. This also gives you a better feel for the reader.

3. Keen – One-of-a-Kind Interpretations From Experienced Readers

Best Sites for a Psychic Reading

  • In-depth search filters
  • 5 minutes for $1
  • Email psychics before paying
  • Advisors from 2002
  • Psychics with 4.7+ stars

Keen is a trustworthy choice for coffee cup interpretations because many of its psychics have been on the site since 2002. A psychic’s services are likely to be worthwhile when they’ve maintained a steady customer base for a long time. Additionally, it also shows that they’re experienced and will give you the clarity you need.

I appreciate how effortless it is to narrow down your option on Keen with its in-depth search filters. You can sort based on price, skill, specialties, and tools so you don’t waste your energy looking through incompatible psychics. Using the filters is especially helpful if you want your symbolic interpretations delivered in a specific manner.

One thing to be mindful of is that some of the readers on Keen have limited information on their profiles. Luckily, the platform lets you email any readers you’re considering before paying, which helps you make an informed decision.

FAQs on Coffee Cup Readings

What is the standard coffee cup size for a reading?

The proper cup for a Turkish coffee reading is much smaller than the standard size. The base of the cup is typically rounded and smaller, which is important so the grounds can accumulate and form symbols. The clear formation of symbols is an important factor in being able to interpret them. So consider getting a traditional Turkish coffee cup set so you have an easier time identifying common symbols in your cup.

What is a coffee cup reading?

A coffee cup reading is a form of divination referred to as Tasseography which involves interpreting patterns, symbols, and formations created by coffee grounds in a cup. Sometimes tea leaves or wine sediments are used instead. It’s believed that the residue left behind in the cup after drinking the coffee holds hidden messages and insights into various aspects of a person’s life, including their past, present, and potential future.

What ingredients should you use for coffee cup readings?

You will need Turkish coffee, a light-colored coffee cup, and a corresponding saucer to perform a coffee cup reading. It’s very important that you use Turkish coffee for your reading because it’s one of the only types with very thin grounds. This helps the coffee grounds to stick and clump better so that shapes and symbols can form in the cup.

After you have all your items, you should follow practical steps on how to do a proper coffee cup reading. This provides structure to the session, ensures you’ll respect traditions, and get the best results.

Are coffee cup readings accurate?

The accuracy of coffee cup readings can vary depending on various factors. You should do your best to approach coffee cup readings with an open mind and understand that interpretations are subjective and rely on the reader’s skill, intuition, and experience. But, you can ensure accurate interpretations by connecting with a credible psychic.

For example, some readers may interpret a tower in your cup as a sign of sudden wealth while others could interpret it as unexpected problems on the horizon. Since part of the interpretation comes from the intuitive feeling the reader is receiving, one symbol could carry hundreds of messages and mean something different for each person. That’s why it’s best to connect with a professional reader that can give you tailored interpretations.

Bottom Line

Coffee cup readings are an ancient divination practice that’s still practiced today. Gathering unique insights with coffee cup readings is possible, but it’s not always straightforward to read into your future. However, it’s possible when you consult credible sources to guide your process.

Moreover, consider reaching out to a credible psychic if you’re faced with challenges. Getting an expert’s second opinion can give you a clearer perspective on the messages you’re receiving and provide assurance.

To summarize, the best sites to get a psychic reading are…

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Advertising Disclosure
MysticMag contains reviews that were written by our experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration independent, honest and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.This site may not review all available service providers, and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
About the author
Lillian Fitzmaurice MacLean is one of Mystic Mag’s writers.

She’s a professional Astrologer and practicing Psychic that dedicates her time to guiding her clients and writing helpful spiritual content. She’s specifically interested in understanding the human experience from the lens of karma, past lives, and life after death.

Over the course of several years, Lillian has gathered a lot of knowledge on herbs, crystals, meditation, and spirit communication. She is passionate about sharing what she’s learned and experienced in hopes of making a positive impact on others’ lives.

When she’s not writing or reading for clients, Lillian dedicates her free time to learning, helping animals in need, and meditating. She hopes to open an animal sanctuary one day and has aspirations of publishing self-help and spiritual books.