About four years ago, very early in my tarot journey, I was searching the internet for spreads that were based on coffee. Why? Because my tarot tumblr was coffeeandtarot and I wanted to showcase some spreads that fit the theme, of course. That search somehow landed me on Ron and Janet Boyer’s site for their limited edition, majors only Coffee Tarot. I was immediately taken, and since it was Christmas Eve, I jumped on it and gifted myself one of the last available copies. Hell yeah. I was able to use the deck here and there for some readings, but I struggled to use it often since it didn’t have any minors. Eventually, I put it away and focused on using the other decks in my expanding collection. A few years later, something pops up on Facebook, and I learn that Ron & Janet had decided to kickstart a “Grande Edition,” adding those minors I had been so sorely missing. I backed it immediately, because of course. And four years later, I still go by coffeeandtarot on the internet, so clearly I needed it. For Reasons.
Of course, now the problem became less “I can’t use it because it has no minors” and more “I have more than enough decks to use, so taking the time to use This One is Hard.” The life of a deck collector. However, I finally decided to dive in and give them the work out they deserved, with the hope that they would energize my tarot practice. Give it a bit of a buzz, if you will.
I was able to interview and put the deck through its paces on a trip to Las Vegas with friends, delightfully. It’s an energetic and enthusiastic deck, so the environment fit it well. It’s definitely a fiery deck, filled with passion and heat. I was able to read it easily, despite not having a book to go along with it – the Boyers have been writing a guidebook, and it should be out as of September 2018. I was able to read on a variety of topics, and could tell that the images lend themselves well to diving deep into some creative and unique interpretations. They are not minimalist at all, and I love that.
Overall, the only really cohesive theme to the deck is, obviously, coffee. Outside of that, it has some cards that are everyday life, some that have elements of fantasy and history, and others that are more sci-fi. At least one card is an explicit movie reference: I pulled the 6 of Earth card multiple times for my friends, and laughed at the Office Space scene (with Milton looking over from the edge of the image) each time.
Other cards are more traditional, but even so, it’s an incredibly non-traditional deck, to the point where it can take a second to figure out what the card is, since some of the titles have been changed. There are a number of extra cards: element cards and the Goddess Caffeina. I ended up pulling them out, but I know that Janet shared that she has plans for addressing ways to use those cards in the guidebook, which I look forward to reading.
It’s a fun deck to use, which makes it easier to overlook the few things I’m not a big fan of. I have smaller hands, and the Coffee Tarot is possibly the biggest deck I own, so riffle shuffling is impossible, and overhand shuffling is a struggle. On top of that, the thin cardstock, which I usually appreciate thanks to my riffle shuffle habits, comes off as too delicate at times. I definitely worry about bending the cards more than I’d like. In addition, the court cards aren’t people, they’re different types of mugs overlaying elemental backgrounds. Like the rest of the deck, it’s a creative and unique way to illustrate the courts, but for me, they lose some of their usefulness.
To top things off, I wanted to share my favorite cards. Ever since I got my limited edition majors only deck, I’ve loved the Magic card. It’s spare and showcases the magician’s toolset (including that mug of coffee!) in a lovely, understated way. I also love the Astronaut in place of The Moon, and The Bean as the stand in for The Fool. Every good cup of coffee starts with those small, fragrant roasted beans; it’s only appropriate that the Coffee Tarot does as well.
You can find out more and buy the Coffee Tarot: Grande Edition here.