Legend of Tea
According to a Chinese legend, tea was discovered accidentally by emperor Shen-Nung approximately 3,000 years before Christ as follows: The emperor set up camp with his entourage in the shade of a large tree. A fire was made and a pot with boiling water was prepared. The heat of the fire brought some of the leaves of the long branches of the tree to dry out. Suddenly, a fierce wind got up and blew some of the leaves into the pot with boiling water. The water turned golden and a delicious scent appeared. The emperor tried the drink and was delighted by the scent and delicious taste. Being immediately aware of the refreshing and invigorating effect, the emperor let out the sound "T'sa", meaning godlike so that, until today, "cha" is the name for tea in Chinese.
The Indian legend goes as follows. In the year 500 after Christ, the Fakir Dharma took the vow not to sleep for 7 years. After 5 years of mental immersion it appeared that he could no longer fight the need to sleep. Full of desperation due to knowing he would not be able to keep his vow, he grasped a couple of branches of the tree where he had made his camp. He put a few leaves into his mouth and chewed them. Immediately, Dharma experienced a refreshing and invigorating effect, his tiredness evaporated and he could keep his vow.
The Japanese also have their own legend with respect to the discovery of tea. The penitent made the pledge of 7 years of meditation. He vowed not to sleep in these 7 years. Despite this vow, he fell asleep on night. When he woke up the next morning, he was so angered by his failure that he cut off his eyelids and threw them to the ground. As soon as the eyelids touched the soil, they grew roots which soon developed into a large bush. When the penitent saw this wonder, he prepared himself a drink out of the leaves. People from all areas came to see this wonder tree and many followed the penitent and prepared a drink from the leaves. The knowledge of the drink's refreshing and invigorating effect was spread everywhere. The delicious taste and scent were reason enough to see this drink as "divine". Until today the Japanese language uses the same character for eyelid and tea.