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Madrone sunrise, Point Lobos

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Reading the tea leaves

I was reading Politico when I came upon this sentence this morning; “When it comes to all things Mueller, the number of experts on tasseography is stunning,” said Gene Rossi, a former federal prosecutor from Virginia.

Tasseography? I confess that is a new one. What does it mean? I looked it up.


Tasseography is an ancient method of divining fortunes from coffee grounds, wine sediment and tea leaves.  It derives from the French word tasse (cup), which in turn comes from the Arabic tassa, and the Greek -logy (study of), and mancy (divination).

In medieval times, fortune tellers augured the future by reading splatters of wax and lead, in the seventeenth century reading tea leaves came to the fore when the dutch started bringing tea from China.

And now we know.

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