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Reading fortunes in Turkish coffee grounds.

This blog post comes to us from our talented graphic designer, Esen. A native to Turkey, Esen shared a little bit about what coffee is like back home and mentioned the Turkish tradition of reading fortunes in coffee grounds. She gave us a little background on the practice:

“As a child growing up in Turkey, I watched the older women in my family gather at the end of meals and read each other’s fortune. You’re usually not allowed to drink or participate until you’re teenager. There’s usually one person around who does it well and enjoys it, but you have to persuade them to do it for the whole bunch – it is a lot of work after all. Everyone listens and comments and it’s mostly a time to talk about aspirations, hopes, dreams, and things you want resolved in your life. Usually people tell you only good stuff like “If you see a fish it means luck,” or “Fire means love,” or “An angel means relief from all problems in the near future.” There are serious guides printed for interpreting the images, but I’ve seen most people make it up as they go.

I learned the practice informally through my future being told to me by aunts and other family friends. I still drink Turkish coffee in the traditional style when I’m back home, but unless you have a group of friends who are into it and you have the time, you don’t do the fortune telling. You just drink it like you would an espresso. I don’t brew Turkish coffee at home because it’s hard to get the grind right, but Todd made me a cup when he came back from Istanbul and it was as good as I remember.

I miss the Turkish coffee culture a little bit sometimes because it’s very inclusive and social. Coffee here’s more like a necessity – and that’s how we drink tea back home. Coffee is more special in Turkey. There’s a saying that goes: “If someone makes you coffee, you owe them for 40 years.” It doesn’t translate well, of course.”

We think it translates perfectly, Esen.

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