Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea
Sounds typical of the detailed archeological studies being done for food crops all over the world. Soil color changes are taken as evidence for digging of all kinds--fire pits, post holes for structures, why not tea plant roots?
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I'm sure even before the time of recorded history and written language people were seeking out plants that would... alter the brain chemistry. Even chimps sometimes seek out fermented berries so they can eat them and get drunk. The plant that people took just to stay awake of course flowered into something much more.
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