It started with a simple comment. “Too bad,” I joked as I looked the lists of panels I was considering going to for AnomalyCon, “I can’t relate tea to science fiction.”

A local writer overheard me, and cried, “No! Tea is becoming more important than ever!” Then she whisked a very doubtful me away to the vendor’s room to the tea booth to talk to the workers there.

“I think tea is making resurgence because of the huge British influence in Steampunk and Science Fiction,” commented one of the workers, Kyle Yourzek. And judging by the interest of con-goers that peered over and examined the goods during in our short conversation, it was hard to argue.

To my companion, I kidded that tea was popular because Captain Picard also liked Earl Grey.

“Oh, definitely that too,” she agreed seriously. Tea, I learned, is becoming a popular booth at conventions of all sorts. Some think it’s because of the British influence of ‘Doctor Who’, others because of fandom teas, but some just think it’s an affordable little souvenir one can enjoy when the convention is over.

But, that makes the interest in tea in fandoms seem idle, and somewhat passive. It’s not. Not when there are tea duels.

Tea duels is a simple concept. You dip a tournament standard biscuit into tea for five second, and remove it. Then, the first player to have their cookie crumble is the loser, unless the opponent is able to “nom” their cookie before their own cookie falls over.

It’s fun, no pressure, and there is a prize for losing…. eating a tea soaked cookie. Yum.

You can find out more about the tea dueling at the official Honourable Association of Tea Duelists’ website.

Essentially, it looks like tea is here to stay, and tea dueling may just be coming to convention near you!