Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time (original hardcover title: Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations ... One School at a Time) is a book by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin published by Penguin in 2007. For four years, the book remained on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller's list.
Three Cups of Tea describes Mortenson's transition from a registered nurse and mountain-climber to a humanitarian committed to reducing poverty and elevating education for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Following the beginnings of his humanitarian efforts, Mortenson co-founded the Central Asia Institute (CAI), a non-profit group that, as of 2010, reported overseeing the construction of over 171 schools. CAI reported that these schools provide education to over 64,000 children, including 54,000 girls. where few education opportunities previously existed in the remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The book's title was inspired by a saying Haji Ali shared with Mortenson: "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family..."
In April 2011, critiques and challenges of the book and Mortenson surfaced. Author Jon Krakauer alleged that a number of Mortenson's claims in the book are fictitious and accused him of mismanaging CAI funds.