Fine china was always imported from China. But in the late 18th Century, import duties changed and the imports became too expensive. Josiah Spode was one of the early developers of wonderful English fine china and he jumped on the business opportunity. To satisfy the taste of the customers, he copied many traditional Chinese designs. The tobacco leaf design was a very popular one, and I have a wonderful set of cups from 1785 in this pattern in my personal collection.
This set was made much later, in 1911, and it shows how popular the pattern was as it was still used, completely the same as it always was! You can find the listing here in my Vintage shop.