According to Chinese mythology, in 2737 BC, the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, was boiling drinking water under the shade of a wild tea bush. A gentle breeze rattled the branches and a few leaves dropped in the pot, adding color and delicious aroma to the liquid. The emperor took a sip and instantly took delight in this accidental find. The tree was a wild tea tree: tea was thus born.
Another legend from India tells the story of Prince Dharma, the third son of King Kosjuwo, who had a divine revelation and decided to leave India to preach Buddhism in China. In order to prove his dedication to this undertaking, Prince Dharma vowed that he would not sleep at all throughout the nine-year mission. However, near the end of the third year, he started to feel the fatigue and became drowsy when, by accident, he picked and chewed some leaves of a wild tea tree. The rejuvenating quality of the tea soon taken effect: Dharman was able to harness from the leaves, the force to stay awake for the remaining six years of his mission.
In Japan, the story was a little different: at the end of the third year, Bohdhi-Dharman, exhausted, ended up falling asleep during his prayers. When he woke up, angry with himself for being feeble and weak, he cut off his eyelids and threw them to the ground. A few years later, passing by the same place, he realized his eyelids had grown into a bush that he had never seen before. He tasted the leaves and convinced they held the key to keeping his eyes wild open and sleepiness at bay. He spread the word around, and people took on the habit of cultivating tea at the places Bohdhi-Dharman at stayed.