A couple of years ago, while attending a tea festival, I came across an exhibitor who was promoting the art of tasseomancy.
“If you’re unfamiliar, tasseomancy, also known as tasseography, is a fortune telling method done by interpreting messages found in the shapes of tea leaves”
Anything related to tea usually gets my attention so I decided to investigate as soon as I got home. I started with online searches and even acquired a beginner’s cup to learn how to do it. I’ve never been particularly interested in psychic phenomenon or anything paranormal, but still felt the need to learn more about this practice that has been around for centuries. On one of my latest visits to a bookstore, I noticed on the main display a little publication dedicated to the art of reading tea leaves. Coincidence? I’m not so sure.
I felt that it was a sign that I had to buy the book if I wanted to learn more about the art of tasseomancy. As I read the first couple of lines – something got my attention. The authors mentioned that Boston was home to an institution that was offering tea leaf readings.
According to their website The Tremont Tea Room is home to a team of psychics that offers in person and telephone consultations to Bostonians and has been doing so since 1936. I figured that if they have been around for that long, they must know what they were talking about. Plus, this was an opportunity for a tea related road trip! I definitely had to go.
The research continues in Boston
You know we love to travel and increase our tea knowledge. So a couple of weeks later Chris and I drove to Boston for another tea adventure that would include a psychic experience and a visit to the Boston Tea Party Museum. My tasseomancy session was set for May 5th at 15:45. The tearoom was on the second floor of an office tower and conveniently located along the Freedom Trail at 333 Washington Street in downtown Boston. However, the place was hard to find!
The room looked nothing like the tea room that I had imagined. I was hesitant to go in until I saw a crystal ball with cards on a table at the back of the room. I entered the space with skepticism and as I looked around an older man came in. Raymond, with no last name, introduced himself and confirmed that I was definitely at the right place. I sat down at the table and waited for him to prepare my tea. I started to wonder if driving all the way to Boston for this experiment was a good decision.
“Was this 15 minute session for 40 US dollars a good investment?”
We’d come this far so I decided to go along with it. I then wondered what type of tea I would be drinking and in what style of cup.
From what I’ve learned so far, tea leaf reading can be done in two different ways.
By reading from a regular tea cup and done by the most gifted and true tea leaf readers. This is known as tasseomancy.
Tasseography uses a cup with printed symbols. It usually comes with a booklet and can be done by pretty much anyone who wants to tap into their intuitive side.
I was shocked to see that my tea was served in a Styrofoam cup with a plastic spoon for stirring! Raymond sat in front of me and waited for me to empty my cup which proved to be somewhat difficult. My tea, although quite tasty, was very hard to drink. I had to fight with the floating tea leaves that wanted to get into my mouth. While struggling my way to the end of my cup, I asked my host what tea I was drinking. Raymond told me that it was an oolong that he got from a tea shop in Boston’s Chinatown. According to him , this oolong, which was a roasted one, is the best for tasseomancy.
I took a peek inside my cup to see what he was talking about. I wondered if it was because of the various sizes of leaves which seemed to create a lot of patterns all around the inside of my cup. Raymond told me that Tremont Tea Room used to be a proper tea room where different teas and sweets were served to customers but throughout the years, they had to reduce their services and the place is now only used for psychic purposes.
He also explained to me that a Styrofoam cup is used to comply with health regulations since there was no kitchen left to adequately rinse the dishes. I knew that I had to leave a small amount of water for my last swirl. I turned my cup upside down on the napkin and stirred the leaves into the cup with the plastic spoon while Raymond was apparently studying my vibe.
In retrospect I got way more than the 15 minutes I paid for.
Raymond gave me the full experience by combining tea leaf readings with card readings from 3 different decks and even palm readings. He also relayed things that the “spirits” wanted me to know! I noted how experienced Raymond must have been as the drawings on the tarot cards were almost erased!
Described as a Master Psychic, Raymond told me that he has been doing readings since 1956 and learned from older ladies, maybe space-wife, that were reading tea leaves back in the days. I am not sure if Raymond will still be around on my next visit to Boston. He is an older man and has been trying to retire for many years but the spirits won’t let him as people still need his help.
My overall experience with Tasseomancy
Remember when I said that I didn’t really believe in psychic phenomena and the paranormal? Well, I can honestly say that Raymond made me change my mind. My reading was not so much on what the future holds for me but mostly about who I am as a person. I can definitely admit that 90% of what he said was spot on. I really enjoyed learning more about this ancient tea leaf reading practice and the road trip to Boston was well worth the experience.
Sarah + Chris
Would you ever have a tea leaf reading done? Let us know in the comments below.