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Turkish Daylights: Coffee reading

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

Coffee is almost as important in the Turkish culture as tea. There even is a saying that states that the memory of a cup of coffee lasts for forty years: Bir kahvenin kırk yıl hatrı vardır.

This means that having coffee with someone will create a bond that will last for a long time. In a nutshell: coffee creates friendships. Every time you have Turkish coffee, it’s like a little ceremony.  I have already explained how to prepare Turkish coffee in a previous post which also mentions its importance in local engagement traditions.

If you’ve ever been to Turkey, you’ve probably noticed that coffee reading is quite popular as well. Strictly speaking, fortunetelling is considered a sin in Islam. Nonetheless, it’s still a part of Turkish everyday life. Many people just do it for fun when having coffee with friends. Others turn to an actual falcı (a fortune teller) and pay money to seek advise.

Coffee reading is like cloud watching. You carefully look at the brown coffee leftovers in the cup and try to spot symbols. Everything you see has a meaning which you may also look up online. There even are apps that help you read your coffee.

I’ve both visited a falcı and had my coffee read by friends. Personally, I think that the latter option is much more fun. Just this evening, I had a Turkish friend come over and we had a look at each other’s cups. Among many other symbols, we spotted a giraffe and an octopus. A giraffe means that you will soon experience emotional and romantic moments. Beware of the octopus, on the other hand, as it means that something you were expecting to turn out for the best will simply not happen. You may not get that job offer you were hoping for. Or you may experience a disappointment in your love life.

Oh well, there’s another popular saying in Turkish: Fala inanma, falsız kalma. Don’t believe in what the coffee reading suggests, but don’t do without it, either. By the way, it’s bad luck to have your coffee read more than once a day (you shouldn’t do it as often anyway) or to read your own coffee.

Have YOU ever tried out coffee reading? Do you think it’s nonsense or do you enjoy it?


From → Turkey

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