HomeHoroscopeI went to a celeb-loved Turkish coffee fortune teller in NYC —...

I went to a celeb-loved Turkish coffee fortune teller in NYC — here’s what he told me

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Fortune favors the bold — coffee, that is.

One Friday winter night in New York City, I took a break from my daily grind and stopped by “Dr. Honeybrew’s Turkish Coffee Room“— a theatrical coffee fortune-telling ceremony located in a “top secret” East Village location that had the feel of being in one’s living room.

During the show, up to eight audience members are invited to drink a cup of Turkish coffee, freshly brewed over a bed of piping hot sand, and then have their futures read by Dr. Honeybrew, who has done over 8,000 readings for people worldwide — including celebs like Philip Glass and Andre 3000.

“When people walk in here, they may walk in as strangers, but everybody ends up leaving as friends at the end,” Honeybrew, 34 told The Post of his shows, which cost $49 a pop on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The performances sell out every week and Honeybrew doesn’t advertise — the buzz is all word of mouth.

Upon arrival, an enthusiastic Dr. Honeybrew welcomes guests into the bright yellow space, which smells of honey and is adorned with yellow flowers hanging from the ceiling and honeycomb-like decor on the walls.

After enjoying a warm cuppa, included with the price of their ticket, attendees get to see their leftover coffee grinds projected onto a screen with an endoscope camera to magnify the image of the remaining sludge.

That’s when Honeybrew, a second-generation Turkish fortune teller, interprets the grinds to read people’s fortunes. Honeybrew warns his guests that privacy gets thrown out the door in these readings, and participants, who are gathered in a circle and seated on couches, are encouraged to share their interpretations of what they see.

Dr. Honeybrew sees the future in your coffee cup. Amy Shamblen

Honeybrew said it’s not unlike the way one would interpret inkblot images in a “Rorschach Test,” a psychological test used to determine one’s state of mind.

It may sound like a bunch of brewhaha — but the tradition of Turkish coffee reading ceremonies dates back to the 16th century Ottoman Empire, Honeybrew explained. “When coffee became a big thing in Turkey during this time era, it was it was a way for all of society to gather and to talk without any barriers or any prejudices,” he said.

While coffee reading is now illegal in Turkey because mysticism is frowned upon, Honeybrew — aka Honey Bee Honeybrew, the preferred name he goes by and is legally adopting — told The Post he feels lucky to be able to stir the pot in NYC.

“I am alive because of a coffee fortune,” Honeybrew explained.

A special connection

For Dr. Honeybrew, not only is coffee fortune reading a way for him to connect to his Turkish roots, but it’s also how he honors his late father Orhan’s memory.

Honeybrew, who was born in Turkey but raised in Minnesota, said his father proposed to his mother 35 years ago during a coffee fortune reading.

It was also a coffee reading from his father that would change the trajectory of Honeybrew’s future at a time when he wasn’t sure where he belonged – whether it was in the US or Turkey. 

“My dad was kind enough to give me a Turkish coffee reading that blew me away so much that I decided to myself, you know, this is going to be a way for me to honor where I come from for all of New York City,” he said. 

The coffee is made on a bed of scorching hot sand. Honeybrew said he once got in trouble at the airport when he tried to take sand from Turkey into the US. Amy Shamblen

This heartfelt fortune reading inspired Honeybrew in more ways than one. 

“It wasn’t so much the prediction that my dad made that moved me so much, but it was more the sentiment behind his words and him telling me that essentially everything was going to be okay and those were the exact words that I needed to hear in that moment,” Honeybrew recalled. 

Turkish coffee may taste bitter but the future can be sweet. Honeybrew said his guests return to his show and tell him that while they can’t recall exactly what he told them in their last fortune – which is why Honeybrew encourages people to record them – they remember the way he lifted their spirits. 

“I really want to make sure that everybody feels as though their futures are cared for and that and that there’s always a chance to turn things around, no matter how dire or how drastic things may seem in the moment,” he said. “I learned that from my dad because that’s the hope that he instilled in me. So now I try to do it for others.”

Honeybrew adopted a colorful wardrobe to honor the color inside himself he was suppressing, he said. Amy Shamblen

Quitting the grind for grinds

Honeybrew’s vocation as a fortune teller happened by chance. Before taking on his new persona, he was working as a bartender at Joseph Leonard in the West Village and hosting a podcast called mürmur in which he and his co-host, a teddy bear named Yumosh, interviewed strangers out of his East Village apartment.

Inspired by his dad, he started doing coffee readings at the end of his interviews and they were a big hit — his guests said the fortunes came to fruition.

A few months later, his dad died and Honeybrew was born. He quit his bartending job to become a fortune teller.

“I told my boss I’m putting in my one-month notice to become a full-time fortune teller. And he said something to the effect of, ‘Yeah, right. You’ll see me in a couple of weeks.’ And that was five years ago. And I haven’t gone back there ever since,” he said.

Since then, he’s adopted a colorful bee-themed wardrobe and rocks nails painted with a bumble bee pattern – a far cry from the clothes he wore in “desolate” Minnesota.

However, he credits his run-in with an icon at a Minneapolis music venue with giving him the gift of sight.

“I sometimes jokingly tell my customers that I got some of my psychic powers from the time that I tripped over my shoelace and I fell on Prince,” he explained.

He also dabbles in “Dr.Honeybrew’s Mixstrology,” the art of wine, beer and cocktail fortune reading. Party Mixstrology rates start at $950. Amy Shamblen
Honeybrew heard your fortune through the grapevine. Amy Shamblen

A fortunate fortune

Luckily for Honeybrew, it pays to bee yourself — and he’s earning quite the living.

He makes anywhere between $5,000 to $8,000 a month reading people’s fortunes. In addition to performing five shows a week, he also offers in-person and virtual group rates that start at $400 and corporate team-building fortune shows that start at $1,400.

For those who want to gift others a reading, he sells Turkish coffee fortune boxes for $15 that allow people to make the coffee at home and upload an image of their grinds to a QR code so that Honeybrew can send them a video reading — included with their purchase.

In addition to coffee, he dabbles in “Dr.Honeybrew’s Mixstrology” the art of wine, beer and cocktail fortune reading.

He assembles evil eye bracelets to “protect the energy field.”
Amy Shamblen

‘Everyone is psychic’

Of course, getting more fans can attract some foes. A former colleague of Honeybrew’s tried to milk him out of $6,000 for a fortune he alleged didn’t come true. Naturally, Honeybrew and the skeptic went on ABC’s “Judge Steve Harvey” to set things straight.

Honeybrew couldn’t tell me the outcome of the show, which is meant to air in a few months, but he did say he had a strong argument to prove that the man’s fortune had come true in the end.

“There’s no such a thing as a wrong fortune,” he explained. “Two people can see the same set of images inside of a cup, but have a completely different take on what those images stand for.”

He said the beauty and the tradition of Turkish fortune readings is that they’re communal and “meant to elicit connection at the end of the day.”

“Through the interactive nature of reading of the grinds, everybody becomes invested in one another’s futures, which is how I believe we should all be living our lives. We should all of us, strangers, be there for each other,” he added.

Honeybrew views himself as more of a facilitator than an omnipotent soothsayer. He believes “everyone is psychic” and has the power to be a coffee fortune teller.

“Whatever meaning that you from your heart project onto those symbols, that’s what determines the fortune,” he explained.

Dr.Honeybrew said the readings, done communally, are meant to elicit a connection. Amy Shamblen
The communal event is made to feel like a party. Amy Shamblen
You can make Turkish coffee at home and Dr. Honeybrew will send you a video fortune. Amy Shamblen

My reading

Unlike some coffee, Honeybrew has no filter. When I was in attendance at his show, he told one audience member he saw her on a mountain smoking a giant blunt and living a life of adventure, which included a ménage à trois. He told another woman that a man with bouffant-like hair from her past would try to woo her but that he was bad news.

For every person, he talked about how the grinds reflected aspects of their personality.

Do you see it? Honeybrew told me this was a picture of my honeymoon surrounded by water, symbolized by an anchor (right). He said my husband (center) was holding a bouquet and that our love would last forever. Alexandra Klausner/NY Post

During my fortune, he accurately predicted I’d be traveling to a distant land surrounded by water, mere weeks ahead of my planned honeymoon to French Polynesia. He told me that I’d be conceiving a baby on this trip and before I could say, “I’m not rea …” I heard the sound of a baby crying, and he pulled a doll out from behind the couch.

He also said in one year, I’d be doing some kind of “stand-up” performance that would make me widely known — this, of course, was represented by coffee grinds resembling a bunny rabbit at a podium, which made me chuckle.

He nearly moved me to tears when he saw my mother in heaven – and the coffee grinds – watching over me always. The readings may sound personal, and they are, but since everyone’s so-called secrets are on the table, people experience the emotional ups and downs of each person’s fortune.

He said that here he saw me, represented here by a rabbit made of coffee grinds, giving a performance or doing some kind of stand-up routine at a podium. Alexandra Klausner/NY Post
He told me that my presence is like a lightning bolt (outlined in yellow) and that I have a quiet confidence and strong energy that comes from kindness. He said my mom’s spirit (top right) is watching me lovingly through all my endeavors. Alexandra Klausner/NY Post

As he says himself, Honeybrew puts “every fiber of his being” into readings and his full-bodied performance is to the brim with encouraging words, strategically placed sound effects and his unique brand of silliness. At times, his performance resembles an interpretive dance or a children’s storytime.

Before every reading, he turns over each person’s coffee cup and asks them to blow on it and make a wish. Just like coffee can help you wake up and start your day, his story might just inspire you to go after your wildest dreams – by any beans necessary. 

As for his own fortune, Honeybrew has his sights set on a bigger stage. “In 7 to 8 years I want to perform at Madison Square Garden,” he said.

“This is my biggest dream and my intuition tells me that this will be a reality.”

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