"A Chinese legend ascribes its first discovery to one Darma, a missionary, famed throughout the East for his religious zeal, who, in order to set an example of piety to his followers, imposed on himself a number of privations, among which was that of forswearing sleep. After some days and nights passed in this austere manner, he was overcome and involuntarily fell into a deep slumber, on awakening from which he was so distressed at having violated his vow, and in order to prevent a repitition of allowing "tired eyelids to rest on tired eyes," he cut off the offending portions and flung them to the ground. On returning the next day, he discovered they had undergone a strange metamorphosis, becoming changed into a shrub, the like of which had never been seen before. Plucking some of the leaves and chewing them he found his spirits singularly exhilirated, and his former vigor so much restored that he immediately recommended the newly-discovered boon to his disciples.
"...The earliest European notice of Tea is that found in a work by Ramusio, first printed in 1550, though written several years prior to that year. In it he quotes Hazzi Mohamed in effect, "And these people of Cathay (China) do say that if these in our parts of the world only knew of Tea, there is no doubt that our merchants would cease to use Ravino Cini, as they call rhubarb."" ~ J. Walsh, Tea, Its History and Mystery (1892)