In recent decades a style of preparing and drinking tea modelled largely on gongfu tea associated with the Chaoshan region of north-eastern Guangdong Province, China, has been taken up as a contemporary tea art in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and elsewhere. This paper draws on fieldwork conducted in Chaoshan to examine gongfu tea as contemporary practice in its home setting. Three aspects are considered: gongfu tea as an everyday practice, as a refined practice, and as commercialised leisure in tea-houses. I argue that, as an everyday practice in Chaoshan, gongfu tea primarily serves to nourish social connectedness with family, friends and associates. It is regarded as an integral part of day-to-day life rather than a tea art. However, some people separate it from the everyday world by cultivating discernment and knowledge with regard to selected aspects, such as high-quality teapots or appreciation of different teas.