Let us start with the obligatory origin of tea story about how Chinese emperor, Shen Nung was relaxing under a Camellia sinensis tree (yes the tea bushes if left unpruned grow into beautiful trees but the quality of tea would not be that great) while his servant boiled drinking water in a pot. Now picture this, a serene warm afternoon, a mild breeze and some leaves from the tea plant fall into the pot of boiling water. The servant being a bit lazy decided not to boil another pot of water but serve the great emperor the “water” as it were. Thus was served the first cup of Afternoon tea and a tradition was born.
People in India will however swear that tea originated in India and was taken to China by Indian Buddhist saint Bodhi dharma (who is accredited to be the founder of Zen Buddhism) when he left to preach Buddhism in China. Another story that does the rounds is that of Bodhi dharma cutting his eyelids off so that he wouldn't fall asleep while meditating, and from these severed eyelids sprang forth the first tea plants. Well, this story is not everyone’s cup of tea but you can take your pick depending on what kind of literature you like to read with your cuppa.