Picture having a coffee and gossip date with all your besties and then sprinkle in some knowledge about your future and that’s what you get when you sit for a reading with Turkish Coffee Messenger Sema Bal. Armed with her own personal blend of Turkish coffee in hand, Bal interprets the dregs of your coffee to read your past, present and future. The art of reading coffee has been in her family for generations and she, herself, has been doing this for over 30 years.Read More
Watch Sema on Vice's Munchies: How to Make and Read Turkish CoffeeRead More
Is my boyfriend doomed to die in a motorcycle crash? Am I destined to develop early onset dementia? Is someone in my family secretly suffering from an undiagnosed terminal illness? If so, do I even want to know?
Taking Your Passions Further
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These are the questions rattling my brain on Saturday, November 26th as I travel from Manhattan to Queens to meet Sema Bal, the Turkish coffee reader known for accurately predicting future events in the lives of three cast members of The Real Housewives of New York.
The art of reading coffee cups has been practiced for centuries across the Middle East and many Balkan countries. Rooted in a combination of intuition and the translation of symbols, the process is relatively straightforward. Basically, you schedule an appointment with your local gifted coffee guru (an hour-long session with Sema costs $200), drink the highly caffeinated, muddy coffee she prepares for you, place your saucer atop your cup, swirl the little dish about, and then anxiously await the interpretation of any symbols that appear in the moist grounds left behind.Read More
Have a question or wish in mind at the beginning
Sema Bal asks that you think of a wish as you're sipping the coffee. When flipping the coffee cup onto the saucer, you'll hold the two together and turn the cup either clockwise or counterclockwise as you ask the question or make the wish. If you don't know what to ask, let your mind drift and somehow lead you to the right subject.
In a season full of upheavals and designer ins and outs, one would be hard-pressed to find a sector of the fashion industry that wasn’t still reeling from all the chaos. Hedi Slimane is out at Saint Laurent, Bouchra Jarrar is in at Lanvin and at press time, Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri had just been named the first female artistic director at Dior. But this season, even the endless speculation on who is in and who is out has taken a backseat to a much more consuming debate: Should fashion shift to a see-now-buy-now format that would make what’s on the runways immediately available in stores? And, what is next for media, retail and the future of the fashion system as we know it?
It’s an intriguing concept, one that several designers have already started experimenting with. Tom Ford canceled his February runway show and announced he would instead present his fall line to the public in September, while brands like Prada and Alexander Wang have already started making a few of their handbags available directly from the catwalk. And yet the shift has so far been met with a resounding no among European designers, who remain largely opposed to this line of unconventional thinking. “The notion of see-now-wear-now, or sell-now, is a negation of dreaming, of desire,” Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault told WWD back in February. His sentiments were later echoed by Karl Lagerfeld, who upheld the appeal of the traditional show format, telling the Financial Times: “The reality is you have to give people the time to make their choice, to order the clothes or handbags, and to produce them beautifully so that editors can photograph them. This way is chaos.” Or is it?
Have a question or wish in mind at the beginning
Sema Bal asks that you think of a wish as you're sipping the coffee. When flipping the coffee cup onto the saucer, you'll hold the two together and turn the cup either clockwise or counterclockwise as you ask the question or make the wish. If you don't know what to ask, let your mind drift and somehow lead you to the right subject.Read More
Tapping into your future can be as simple as peeking into your leftover cup of joe, at least if you stop by New York’s most famous coffee fortune teller from Queens.
Sema Bal, a Turkish expat who moved to New York by way of Australia more than 20 years ago, made her first debut on television last year after being featured on the Bravo’s infamous “Real Housewives of New York.”
Since then, the gifted psychic has not only been visited by numerous clients from surrounding states, but has also been approached by major TV execs in hopes of launching a reality show.
“[Producers] approached me, but they wanted to include my kids,” Bal said. “But I don’t want to get my kids involved.”Read More
For my April Inspiradventure, I decided to venture out of this world, a place actually deep within our mind and spirit. I decided to travel to the other side, beyond the stars. But I couldn’t do it alone.
Right off the J train, my mother and I scurried to Mrs. Bal’s home. I was nervous. A psychic? A Medium? I don’t believe in any of that, right? But a Turkish Coffee reader? I’ll bite! I originally saw her featured on The Real Housewives of New York City, and the curiosity overcame me. I decided to make an appointment. See what all of this was about. No expectations. But not objections. I walked right in.
Mrs. Bal greeted with a warm welcome! I was expecting a woman of great firmness, serious and mystifying in nature. Like she could read my whole life in my eyes, and she could see my demise as if I were simply a comic book of animation. Instead, she had such a positive vibe, and made me feel so comfortable. It was like I forgot what I was there for!Read More
It is no big secret that I am easily seduced by all things paranormal. On any given day you can find me watching an episode of any TV show containing the word “psychic,” “ghost” or “medium” in the title, or perusing the “thriller movie” section on Netflix. On any other given day, you might find me in Chinatown having my aura captured on an old-school Polaroid camera at Magical Jewelry, visiting haunted hotels, or at Stick Stone and Bonein the West Village purchasing sage and crystals. I am fascinated by anything that falls into the scope of metaphysical and mystical (or what some of you might refer to as “a load of crap”—no judgement). Whatever your belief system is, you cannot deny things in life when you experience them for yourself. And I am here to inform you that some gifts cannot be disputed. After reading this article, you are likely to agree.
Whether you are a believer or a skeptic of the spiritual side of life, the idea of third eye sight is a trending topic. I have always been a believer, but after experiencing two very different readers (both featured on Bravo’s Real Housewives television series), I am without words on the messages that were delivered to me in each of my sit-down readings.
Author Sema Bal says that she has been blessed with a remarkable and unique gift. Instilled in her by her ancestors and personally honed for more than three decades, Bal's gift is that of reading messages through images in Turkish coffee grinds.
In her new book, "The Secret of Coffee Grinds" (published by Balboa Press), Bal explains the purpose and benefit of being able to read coffee grinds, as well as how to do it for oneself if a reader is inclined to do so.
"This book contains all of my memories and life experiences since I became a coffee messenger; I have about 30 years of perceptive experiences with loved ones who have crossed," says Bal.