The Future’s Black
19th June 2013 by
My name is Linsey and I am a coffee addict. To that end, I have been helping the festival team with a few design and writing bits and pieces. It’s great to spend time with people who really know their stuff and rightly place the black nectar at the heart of all things past, present and future. If you fancy volunteering your services too, I’m sure they’d be delighted to have you.
Last Saturday morning saw me holding a stepladder and passing cable ties up to Ricardo, who was hanging banners at the Festival Hub. While on ladder duty, I couldn’t help but wonder how successful this first Coffee Festival would be. If success is in any way proportional to commitment and hard work, we should be fine. If not, then it’s all a bit of a lottery.
Many of the world’s cultures believe the future can be foretold and omens interpreted using food. You can do it with cheese (Tiromancy), onions (Cromniomancy) and wine (Oenomancy). So can you do it with coffee?
The answer is, of course, yes. Tasseography, or Tasseomancy, the art of fortune telling with coffee grounds, is practised in Turkish, Lebanese and some Balkan cultures.
When you drink Turkish coffee (try it with Turkish Delight at festival venue Olive and Thyme, as seen above), it’s strong, it’s often sweet and it’s always special. The coffee, which is very finely ground, is allowed to settle at the bottom of the cup, rather than being strained out. To read what the future holds, put your saucer over the top of the cup, then flip the whole thing over (this tends to work better if you drink the coffee first).
The patterns in the grounds, or in the spaces between, all have meanings. If you decide to try it, look out for the following symbols:
Apple – success in an education or knowledge setting
Birds flying – some good news is on its way
Candle – a symbol of enlightenment
Kite – wishes will come true.
The Raven of Death is a symbol generally to be avoided if at all possible. Don’t try to read your own future, because it won’t work. And I suppose you could do it with tea leaves if you must, but not on my watch.
Finally, a useful and timely piece of advice from our friends at Wikihow: “If your reading turns out bad, don’t worry, remember to take everything with a pinch of salt. You’re the one in charge of your future by making sound and sensible choices using your intellect and experience.”
Fair enough. Enjoy the festival folks!