Monthly Tea: Edible Parlor Game

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:

Tea Dueling

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.

Tea Dueling

Poised to challenge.

Tea Dueling

A close-up of the grip.

Tea Dueling

The dunk – it lasts to a slow count of 5.

Tea Dueling

The Wait, as the Dunkers talk and perhaps engage in some witty repartee.

Tea Dueling

Oh, no! A Splodge! You can’t see it, but half her Weapon fell onto her hand, causing her to lose the round.

Tea Dueling

And another loss as she noms first.

Tea Dueling

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.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. biahelvetti
    Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:00:20

    Well, it all sounds utterly delightful, I’m really glad that such a fun and harmless pastime has become so popular :) :)

  2. Noddy
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 14:08:31

    Yes, we had such fun with that as kids (and the milk and Oreo duels…) that someone decided to make it all grown-up, but still fun.

    Keep your paper cup trophies, they were well-earned!

    You don’t have to be part of any of the “official” tea dueling societies to enjoy the duels, nor do you have to limit yourself to tea, there’s warm and cold milk (flavored and unflavored), hot and cold coffee, and iced tea. The cookies are pretty much essential, though, because they are the weapon in the duel.

  3. biahelvetti
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 09:59:54

    We used to ‘tea-duel’ as kids, I think it’s so lovely that it’s become so popular! I only recently discovered that there are several ‘official’ tea-duelling organisations – Fantastic! Although slightly daunting… I’m wondering if I should hand back all my ‘paper-cup’ trophies as ‘unofficial’ …? ;) Happy dunking, Bia :)

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