Tea Dueling

Madeleines’ and Tea

Make a memory at Louisiana’s World Steampunk Exposition and join us for tea dueling with Madeleines’ and tea!

Louisiana’s World Steampunk Exposition continues the tradition of tea and encourages tea dueling during the event. Madeleines will be served with tea in the Vendor Room at the event and are included in the cost of admission. Madeleines’ with tea borrows from the imagery of the works of Marcel Proust who, starting in 1909, wrote one of the longest novels in history.

Proust is considered one of France’s most influential authors of the 20th century.  He used Madeleines and tea in one of the key passages in À La Recherche du Temps Perdu or In Search of Lost Time. It is at the heart of the book’s main theme of involuntary memory, in which an experience such as smell or a taste unexpectedly unlocks a past recollection. The work was published in France between 1913 and 1927. The expression “Proust’s madeleine” is still used today to refer to a sensory cue that triggers a memory.

Tea duels with Madeleines’ and tea at Louisiana’s World Steampunk Exposition are guaranteed to trigger future memories of the Expo!

What is Tea Dueling

Tea dueling is a Steampunk hobby that is played whenever three or more steampunks gather in a “Tiffin Party”. It works best when the tea duelists are surrounded by a throng of excited onlookers eager to cheer on the victor and point out any instances of cheating to the wise and patient referee, the Tiffin Master.

The Honorable Association of Tea Duelists is the originator of this fine sport is the Official World Governing Body.

Defending One’s Honor

Tea dueling, similar to traditional dueling, is an arranged engagement in combat between two people, with matched weapons (Madeleines), in accordance with agreed-upon rules. Tea dueling is based on a code of honor. Duels are fought to gain “satisfaction”, to restore one’s honor and should be initiated upon insult to one’s character.

Tea Dueling Rules

  1. Only tea may be used. Milk and sugar may be applied to taste.
  2. Biscuits are traditionally all of the same variety to ensure fairness.
  3. Opponents must have cups of the same size and shape.
  4. The opponents must first shake hands and bow, then sit opposite each other across a table on which the tea and biscuits will be placed.
  5. The Pot Master must pour tea for the opponents, taking care to ensure that the tea is sufficiently hot to allow for biscuits to crumble, and also ensuring that the same quantities of tea are poured into each cup.
  6. The Tiffin Master hands the Dunkers a choice of biscuits on a serving plate and invites them to select their biscuit of choice with an announcement of “choose your weapon”.
  7. The Dunkers will each select their biscuit of choice. Once a biscuit is handled, it must be chosen, with no substitution.
  8. The Dunkers will hold their biscuits by the edge not more than six inches above the cup of tea.
  9. On the Tiffin Master’s command of “Dunk”, both opponents will immediately lower their biscuit into the tea and hold it there, ensuring that biscuits are fully dunked with not more than half an inch above the surface of the tea.
  10. The Tiffin Master will forcefully count to five. On a count of “five”, the Dunkers will raise their biscuits and attempt to eat them. The entirety of the biscuit must be consumed for a clean “Nom”.
  11. If both opponents secure a clean Nom, the Dunker who last ate their biscuit is judged to be the victor.
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