In honour of the Commonwealth of Australia‘s recognition as a federated nation, the Hague Convention and the Honourable Association of Tea Duelists (International) present:
Thea Duellum de Australis
Articles of Honourable Association of Tea DuelistsColonial Edition (1901)
(To encompass the colonies of the southern hemisphere)
Dum illic’ thea illic’ spes.
Article 1.1: A duel constituted under the auspices of the International Association of Tea Dueling, shall be known as a “Tiffin Party”.
Article 1.2: The only permissible beverage is Tea (Camellia sinensis). Coffee (Coffea Arabica) and hot chocolate (Theobroma cacao) are strictly prohibited. This beverage may be only a blend of black tea as supply allows. The participants may add milk and sugar to taste. The beverage must be no less than 65’C in temprature. In most formalities the tea selected will be known by the name of it’s blend (e.g: Assam, Oolong, English Breakfast, etc.). Individual slices of citrus fruit are not permitted in the tea (pot or cup), however a combatant may request a wedge of citrus fruit to extract a measure of it’s juice on the understanding that this does not reduce the temperature of the beverage. Flavoured syrups and foreign additives (eg: marshmallows) are not permitted.In extremis, combatants who present an allergy to black tea may be permitted to use a vessel of plain hot water as a subtitute.
Article 1.3: Upon agreement of all parties, an alcoholic tipple of choice may be added to the tea on the understanding that it does not unduly reduce the temperature of the beverage. In such circumstances this shall be known as a “Toddy”.
Article 1.4: It is the responsibility of the combatant to provide their own suitable drinking vessel. They can be made of pottery (this includes ceramic, bone china, or porcelain), non-reactive metal, or glass. In extremis where no suitable vessel is available, a paper vessel may be permitted to uphold the honour of the challenger. Vessels made of plastic, wood, or other unsuitable material are not permitted. A Tiffin Master/Mistress (see Article 2.2) reserves the right deny a combatant participation in a duel if they or their Second can not provide a suitable drinking vessel. A combatant may be instantly disqualified if found to be in possession of a “Mug“. This decision is at the Tiffenmaster/Tiffenmistress’ Discretion
Article 1.5: Provision, preparation, and presentation of the tea shall be the responsibility of a Pot Master/Mistress (See Article 2.1).
Article 2.1: The duel shall be facilitated by the appointed officer known as the “Pot Master/Mistress”. The Pot Master/Mistress is responsible for the acquisition and supervision of the tea. The Pot Master/Mistress is a liaison between the Tiffin Master/Mistress, and the minor officers. It is also the responsibility of the Pot Master/Mistress to provide suitable biscuits (see Article 3).
Article 2.2: The duel shall be presided over by an senior member of the association who holds the office of “Tiffin Master/Mistress”. When honour requires satisfaction and insufficiently qualified officers are not present, the offices of both Tiffin Master/Mistress and Pot Master/Mistress may be embodied in the one person. In this prestigious position, the Tiffin Master/Mistress is responsible for observing the combatants, enforcing the rules of the duel, awarding points and penalties, and facilitating the smooth, civilized running of the duel while addressing the spectators
Biscuits to be used in preliminary round are:
Biscuits to be used in the Sudden Death round are:
All packets are to be kept for Allergy information.
Article 4.1: Each duel should be attended by two protagonists (combatants) called “Duellist“. In formal tea duelling events, a”Duellist” is required to have a Second on standby. All involved are required to accept the Articles presented to the “Duellist” by the Honourable Association.
Article 4.2: Should a Duellist suffer a crisis of confidence and withdraw before the duel, A Duellist’s Second will be required to step into the breach. The Second will be awarded full honours.
Article 5.1: The duel will commence with the introduction of the “Duellist’ by the Tiffin Master/Mistress. The “Duellist” will be invited to be seated at the table opposite one another.
Article 5.2: By the order of the Tiffin Master/Mistress, the “Duellist” will present their cups, and the Pot Master/Mistress will serve the tea, ready for the duel to commence.
Article 6.1: The Duellist’s may sip from their cup and adjust the tea to taste with milk and/or sugar. Other than this, “Duellist’ will keep their cups on their saucers upon the table for the duration of the duel. The Tiffin Master/Mistress may request a “Top Up” for a “Duellist” if the level of their tea appears less than their opponent’s level.
Article 6.2: The Pot Master/Mistress will present both Duellist’s a serving plate of six (6) biscuits lain on a white napkin or doiley.
Article 6.3: At the Tiffin Master/Mistress’ command “Choose your weapons” The Duellist’s may each select a biscuit from their plate. The act of “Double handling” or replacing a biscuit that has already been chosen is not permitted.
Article 6.4: The Duellist’s will hold their chosen biscuit in one hand between the thumb and index finger no further than one inch from the edge of the biscuit.
Article 6.5: The Tiffin Master/Mistress will give the order “Ready”, Duellist will position their biscuits over their vessels no higher than six (6) inches (15cm) from the lip of the cup.
Article 6.6: At the Tiffin Master/Mistress’ command “Dunk” both Duellist will immediately, and swiftly lower their biscuit into their vessel of tea. A Tiffin Master/Mistress may declare a penalty on a “Dogging” against any Duellist who unduly delays their dunk, and the biscuits will be removed and discarded. If the Tiffin Master/Mistress chooses to restart the round, it will be the duty of the Pot Master/Mistress or Cosies to replace the discarded biscuit.
Article 6.7: If the Tiffin Master/Mistress is happy that there has been a clean dunk, he/she will count to five (5). Duellists shall not remove their biscuits before “Five” is called by the Tiffin Master/Mistress.
A clean dunk is defined as a minimum of 60% of the biscuit shall be dunked into the tea.
Article 6.8: Once a count to five has been completed the biscuit is removed and held upright. The Duellist shall attempt to eat their biscuits. A minimum 90% of the biscuit must end up in the Duellist’s mouth for what is termed a clean “Nom”. If a Duellist insists on removing their biscuit and not holding it upright, this will also count as Dogging (see Article 6.6), and the Tiffin Master/Mistress may call a penalty against the Duellist in question, and declare a disqualification.
Article 7.1: If the biscuit breaks and falls into the tea vessel, this is known as a “Splash”. In this event, the Duellist is considered beaten.
Article 7.2: If the biscuit breaks and falls onto the table or floor etc. this is known as a “Splatter”. In this event, the Duellist is considered beaten.
Article 7.3: If the biscuit breaks and falls onto the Duellist’s person, this is known as a “Splodge”. In this event, the Duellist is considered defeated with credit.
Article 7.4: Where both Duellist’s manage a clean Nom, the duel will continue. A duel is made up of three rounds. A winner is declared from the best two (2) out of three (3) rounds.
In the event of a tie, or a Sudden Death round, the Tiffin Master/Mistress will instruct the Pot Master/Mistress to serve one biscuit each to the Duellist’s. The Tiffin Master/Mistress will instruct the Duellist’s that the biscuit will be dunked in the tea for a count of at the discretion of the Tiffin Master/Mistress. The biscuit will be removed and held upright. Outcomes are as follows:
(a) In the event of any occurrence that resembles Articles 7.1, 7.2, or 7.3, it will be the Duellist who still has an intact biscuit who will be required to execute a clean Nom. If successful, this Duellist will be declared the victor.
b) In the event that the biscuits of either Duellist’s have not broken, the Tiffin Master/Mistress will call for the Duellist’s biscuits to be turned ninety degrees (90‘), or a three o’clock position. If an occurrence that resembles Articles 7.1, 7.2, or 7.3, it will be the Duellist who still has an intact biscuit who will be required to execute a clean Nom. If successful, this Duellist will be declared the victor.
(c) In the event that the biscuits of either Duellist’s still have not broken, the Tiffin Master/Mistress will call for the Duellist’s biscuits to be turned from the ninety degree (90‘) position to a flat, level position. If an occurrence that resembles Articles 7.1, 7.2, or 7.3, it will be the Duellist who still has an intact biscuit who will be required to execute a clean Nom. If successful, this Duellist will be declared the victor.
(d) In the event that none of the above incidents occur (a,b,c). The Tiffin Master/Mistress may call for a “Redunk”, and the activities of Sudden Death are repeated until a victor is found. At the Tiffin Master/Mistress’ decision he/she may decide to call a “Draw”
While a level of decorum is required; psychologically out-witting your opponent, or use of intimidation tactics while a duel is in progress carries no penalty. On the provision that it is done in a creative and eloquent manner that reflects the refinement of our art.
“Bring me a cup of tea, and The Times.”- Queen Victoria on her ascension to the throne.
Rules taken from the Tea Duelling Australia Facebook page