[Ladies and gentlemen, you will see from the picture above, which I took, why I found a professional photographer to take the photos for Geek Culture!]
I first encountered tea duelling at TeslaCon 3 in 2012, and I was immediately hooked. I’m not the only one who loves it; there were 32 participants in what I believe was CONvergence’s first tea duel, and there was a large crowd of onlookers.
The art of tea duelling involves dunking a bisquit into hot tea for five or six seconds — the rules I’ve played under before today specified five seconds, but today the count was to six. Then each competitor tries to be the last to achieve a clean “nom.” If you wait too long (which is often my problem), your wet bisquit will fall apart before you can eat it, resulting in a splash (in your tea), a splatter (on the table or floor), or a “splodge” (on your person). If, however, you eat your bisquit and achieve a clean “nom,” but your competitor successfully eats her bisquit after you, she is the winner of the match.
Today’s match involved five rounds, ending in an intense battle that lasted nearly four minutes! I am proud to say that I actually made it past the first round, but then I came up against Emily, the champion dunker at the 2014 DIODES Steampunk May Day Ball in St. Paul, Minnesota. Emily easily bested me and went on for two more rounds to take fourth place in today’s contest.
Interested in tea duelling? Get a package or two of the approved bisquit (in the United States, that means Pepperidge Farm Chessmen), familiarize yourself with the official rules, grab some friends, brew some tea, and have fun!