Today, we had the first of this year’s Monthly Teas.
The Tea was about a specific parlor game that has transcended the nursery and parlor and become a popular tournament sport: Tea Dueling.
Tea Dueling has become the genteel sport of competitive cookie dunking.
At its simplest, it’s a test of wit and will between two people to see who can refrain from eating their cookie the longest without the cookie falling apart after it’s dunked in tea.
It can also be played in a more formal setting, or even in tournament form.
Fully formal, Tea Dueling has a referee, a Brew Master, a Weapons Master, the duelists and their seconds. There are fouls and Bad Behavior (Menacing, Use of Projectile Weapons, Physical Interference, Bagging, and more).
Honor can be upheld, as well, when duelists have a difference of opinion to settle.
However it’s done, it’s always fun.
For those who can’t have gluten, there are a couple of gluten-free cookies that will work. Decaf tea can be used. It’s adaptable. The goal is to have fun.
Below are some pictures of one challenge, with a few explanatory poses:
From left to right:
The Weapons: Pepperidge Farm Chessment cookies and Shortbread cookies, and the new Keebler Simply Made Butter Cookies.
The uniform sized challenge cups behind the Weapons Platter.
The amendments of sugars and cream.
The OctoPot and tea strainers.
The napkins, plates and spoons behind Baron O, and additional cups if we have many challengers.
Poised to challenge.
A close-up of the grip.
The dunk – it lasts to a slow count of 5.
The Wait, as the Dunkers talk and perhaps engage in some witty repartee.
Oh, no! A Splodge! You can’t see it, but half her Weapon fell onto her hand, causing her to lose the round.
And another loss as she noms first.
And the winner, with her prize – a jar of loose-leaf Prince of Wales tea.
Itzl was present, but did not participate.
The full rules for the official Tea Duelling (they use British spelling – we didn’t because we used Okie Rules and weren’t “official”) can be found here. The American Tea Duelling Society is here. And there’s a book out on it here.