Reading a fortune from tea leaves has likely been around as long as tea itself; over five thousand years. The Chinese would read the formation of tea leaves in their cups for symbols, omens or unusual patterns. Concentration is important to enable the tea leaf reader to see beyond the symbols and work with true knowledge.
The guest should be seated as near to the reader as possible. The guest is asked to stir the loose tea and then place them in the cup. If the leaves spill it is considered very fortunate. Hot water is added and the seeker focuses on the future while stirring it. The fortune of the seeker is then revealed after all water has been removed from the cup.