Coffee drinking and fortune reading

I see your future in the bottom of a coffee cup.

I turned my cup over after sipping the strong dark coffee and waited for the tifle (the small amount of finely ground beans) at the bottom of my cup to dry. I waited for my future to be told. My favorite part of the Turkish coffee drinking experience.

After carefully and quietly studying the grounds my father finally has a fortune.

“There are four roads in front of you. You can go down one. Three of the roads will get you to the same place but the fourth road will bring you a happy surprise. There is a giant bird at the end and it will be bringing you something that makes you happy.” 

Of all the traditions that my father brought with him from Lebanon this is probably my favorite. His strongest memories of fortune telling revolve around a morning ritual called Sobhieh, which comes from the Arabic word for morning. It’s a cultural tradition in which female friends and neighbors come together to visit and sip cups of the strong coffee before starting their busy days.

I love imagining my young grandmother with her friends and neighbors sitting together sharing coffee, speaking loudly in Arabic, using dramatic hand gestures and laughing. Then taking time to read each others fortunes before starting the day. I imagine that this community was important to them and that it helped fuel their energy and their souls before countless hours were spent cooking and caring for their families.

turkish coffee1

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 2.04.56 PM

Recipe (serves 2)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra finely ground coffee (powder consistency)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • Optional: sugar

Boil 1 cup of water on the stove in an ibrik (or small saucepan). Add about a teaspoon of sugar to the boiling water and stir. Remove from heat and add the ground coffee and cardamon. Let it come to a boil and foam, remove it from the heat and allow it to come to a boil and foam twice more before removing from heat. Pour into two demitasse cups and wait a couple of minutes to allow the grinds to settle to the bottom of the cups. Sip with leisure, turn cup over and let the tifle move and dry on the cup, after a few moments turn over and have your fortune read!