While I do give coffee readings, I also receive them. And when I am sitting in front of someone who is reading me, I don't question his or her way of interpreting the coffee cup, I believe that as much as their are many archetypes, there is also personal feeling that comes into play when reading someone.
There is no one way to read a coffee cup, there are certain rituals that readers like to follow for the sake of tradition, such as spinning your cup three times before turning it over, or tapping on it once it's turn over, and the age old tradition of sticking your thumb at the bottom of your cup for the reader to ad one more word about your cup (a sort of encore).
The bottom line is, every reader refers to his or her own interpretation of symbols they see, and often speak from a deep feeling that comes upon them. I myself use symbols and intuition, I have found through the years that thinking too much or too long often misguide me, rather taking that symbol and following where my heart wants to go brings more accuracy and hits the nail on the head.
There are certain symbols many readers will rely on and interpret in similar ways, here are a few:
Dog: loyal friend
Snake: a deceitful individual
Lines: many paths
Dark heavy parts: issues that are troubling you....
The symbols are many, and sometimes not set in stone, I have seen a snake in a cup and didn't feel the deceitful individual, rather it lead me to speak of some medical issues. To read a coffee cup or cards or tea leaves, isn't just a learned thing, It comes from a place of trusting ones intuition and inner voice.