Oddly Enough

Drink a coffee, see what the future holds

Israeli waitress Lin Tabachnik reads the coffee grounds of customer at a coffee shop in Tel Aviv October 27, 2009. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Coffee drinkers at a popular Israeli chain can have their fortunes told for free if they buy a cup of the brew that leaves grounds at the bottom.

“A surprise is waiting for you when you finish your coffee,” say waitresses at branches of Ilan’s Coffee House in Tel Aviv, where marketing manager Michal Steg has hired a “gypsy” soothsayer to teach staff how to interpret the residue.

The free service is meant to boost sales in Israel’s highly competitive coffee market.

Writing by Elana Ringler and Douglas Hamilton; Editing by Steve Addison