Steampunk World: Tea Dueling

Since the Denver County Fair is coming up this weekend and the Colorado Steampunks and AnomalyCon will be represented there, I thought I’d talk about Tea Dueling.

The first known instances of Tea Dueling in the US occurred in 2012 within a couple of weeks of each other–one of which was at AnomalyCon 2012, courtesy of the patronage of BB Blackdog. It was a raging success and has spread like wildfire, leading to the formation of the American Tea Dueling Society. Some argue that it should be spelled “Duelling” as in the British spelling, but for the sake of my spell check I am ignoring the anglophiles.

Usually when we discuss tea dueling, the first image that comes to mind is that of two gentlemen duking it out over a tea table with foils–or holding tea in one hand and a dueling cane in the other. While this might be an entertaining development of Bartitsu, it’s not quite what we have in mind.

Thanks to Susan Rahmsdorff’s diligence and a little help from Dryad Tea, AnomalyCon and the Colorado Steampunks are keeping tea dueling alive and well in the Denver Metro Area.

Here are a couple of videos from AnomalyCon 2013’s competition:

And the finals:

In 2014 we expect to have proper double-elimination and a very standardized tournament. With cookies. Of course.

Basically, the rules are as follows:
Two duelists sit across from each other at a table, each with a cup of tea and a biscuit (or cookie).
On the count they dip their cookies in the tea, and then it’s a game to stare each other down until one lifts out his biscuit and tries to eat it. The winner is the one who both holds his biscuit in the longest AND gets the entire biscuit into his mouth without it breaking.
This is a serious sport. Only the most elegant and graceful gentlemen and ladies can compete with a straight face. Better yet, it is a duel fought without violence. Maybe.

Those who would like to see or participate in a live demonstration and tea dueling competition should join us on Sunday at 3pm at the Denver County Fair! Badges for the entire weekend are only $10, and we also will be putting on a fashion show on Saturday at 5pm. Join us all weekend for shenanigans, new interesting swag and a good old fashioned time. Also probably pie.


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