Wonderland Tea Duelling How To

Have you heard of Tea Duelling? I found out about it when I attended a steampunk event. I thought it would be the perfect duel for the Red and White Queen from Alice in Wonderland. The Red and White Queens could have settled their dispute with a Wonderland Tea Duelling. Nothing like a cup of tea to settle any dispute.

White Queen Vs. Red Queen

We set up our Tea Duelling demonstration with the Red Queen Iracebeth versus the White Queen Mirana. To judge the duel we selected the Mad Hatter Tarrent Hightop as the Tiffian Master. To serve the tea and act as the Pot Master we chose the White Rabbit. With the table set, Iracebeth and Mirana were ready to choose their weapons (shortbread chessmen cookies). It was a most civil was to settle the differences of these Wonderland queens.

Tea Duelling

You may ask, what is Tea Duelling? Tea Duelling is the art of dunking a biscuit in a cup of hot tea and consuming it cleanly before it dissolves but after your opponent does. It is a fun way to see who lasts the longest over a cup of tea. Steampunk folks all over the world have been partaking in this sport for about a decade.

History of Tea Duelling.

So, you may be wondering how Tea Duelling came to be. Tea Dueling was invented by Geof Banyard (aka Doctor Geof) and John Naylor (aka Tinker) in London UK. Their motivation according to their website is, “a fun sport designed to be enjoyable and entertaining.” So, grab your cup of brown Joy, and check out their official rules here. http://teaduel.yolasite.com/

American Tea Duelling

Tea Duelling is not just for the United Kingdom. In 2012 Doctor Geof and Tinker brought tea dueling to the Anachro Con in America. This gave birth the American Tea Dueling Society headed up by Wilhelmina Frame.  The American Tea Duelling Society is an affiliate of The Honorable Association of Tea Duellists and is the official sanctioned body for Tea Duelling in the United States. They state “Tea Duelling is a truly egalitarian sport offering a level playing field for men, women, old and young.” You can find the American rules here https://www.dragoncon.org/dailydragon/2017/tea-dueling-in-the-american-tradition/

Airship Iron Opal Tea Duelling

To settle our war in Wonderland, we asked the captain of the Airship Iron Opal to give us directions on Tea Duelling. Voni`e gave us a simple explanation of steampunk tea dueling. Dunk your weapon (chessman shortbread cookie) into your hot tea, then Cleanly nom (consume) your dunked biscuit after your opponent. If your cookie crumbled or left a crumb behind it brought shame upon you. Tea Duelling is a battle of wills to see who can hold their biscuit still the longest and still consume it completely.

Airship Iron Opal Tea Duelling Rules

  1. Opponents take seats across the tea table with teacups ready.
  2. Pot Master has hot tea prepared and pours tea for duel.
  3. Tiffen master presents biscuit face down on a platter for contestants to choose from.
  4. Contestants hold biscuit with two fingers above teacups as Tiffen master calls dunk.
  5. First round contestants hold biscuit in tea for the count of 3 in the tea then hold biscuit still attempting to outlast their opponent before consuming the biscuit cleanly with no crumbs to shame them. Final rounds will dunk for a count of 5 then hold until a clean nom.
  6. If your chessman shortbread cookie crumbles before you cleanly nom itn you bring shame. The goal is to have no shame.

Wonderland Tea Duelling Location

For our Wonderland Tea Duelling how to we traveled to the Swetsville Zoo. This metal creature zoo in Tinmath Colorado was the ideal location for a Wonderland tea duel.  This rural fam has delighted Coloradoans for the past 34 years. Owner Bill Swets is finally parting with his property, but not before we could capture some of his wonders on film before, they were just a distant memory.

Wonderland Tea Duelling Cast:

  • Instruction– Voni`e Stillson Captain of the Airship Iron Opal
  • Alice Little– Jill Carroll
  • Mad Hatter Tarrent Hightop-William Hooker
  • White Rabbit– Craig Tomazin
  • Red Queen Iracebeth– Jessica Virgo
  • White Queen Mirana– Holly Collins-Tomazin

Holly Collins Tomazin
WEDDING DANCE instruction
Certified Licentiate in
Ballroom, Latin, Smooth & Rhythm
with ISTD, DIVDA, FADS, & Arthur Murrary’s
author of
Holly’s hot wedding tips, 
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of:
The Knot Hall of Fame best wedding dance instruction,
top 50 Dance Blogs
Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach

owner of
Adventures in Dance


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