Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” as Want to Read:
Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

(Before the Coffee Gets Cold #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  13,900 ratings  ·  2,296 reviews
What would you change if you could go back in time?

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of th
...more
Paperback, 213 pages
Published September 19th 2019 by Picador (first published December 6th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
    Before the Coffee Gets Cold

    Release date: Nov 17, 2020
    Enter to win 1 of 15 Advanced Reader Copies of Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi!

    If you could go back, who would you want to meet?

    In
    ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 15 copies available, 3990 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Sep 30 - Oct 30, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about Before the Coffee Gets Cold, please sign up.
    Recent Questions
    This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.77  · 
    Rating details
     ·  13,900 ratings  ·  2,296 reviews


    More filters
     | 
    Sort order
    Start your review of Before the Coffee Gets Cold
    Claudia
    Despite the appealing subject, the writing ruined the reading for me. It is written more as a theater play than anything else, with the right setup and characters. Everything is explained and the whole story takes place in the coffee shop.

    The blurb is very accurate, so I won’t get into details. However, nothing in it to keep my interest. The characters are like puppets, their dialogues disjointed, the actions artificial.

    The time travel part is more of a disguise here, I wouldn’t classify it in
    ...more
    Kate
    Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    5/5stars

    No question this is as good as everyone keeps saying. Absolutely beautifully simply written, incredibly unique especially on such an over used idea like time travel, absolutely tragic but also incredibly happy and dealing with some tough subjects almost everyone can empathize with, honestly one of the few books I can call INSPIRING.

    Absolutely loved this wow
    Amalia Gavea
    ‘’The cafe’s name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, an account of time-travelling. But it wasn’t possible to find anyone who had actually gone back in time, because of the extremely annoying rules that had to be followed. The first rule was: ‘’The only people you can meet while in the past are those who have visited the cafe.’’ This would usually defeat the purpose of going back. Another rule was: ‘’There is nothing you can do while in the past that will ...more
    Warda
    Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
    A slow-moving, but beautifully paced novel about time-travel and questioning the idea that if you were given an opportunity to visit the past, would you? Even though there is nothing that you can change? Even if there are strict measurements set in place making it seem almost pointless to even take part in the activity?

    This story left me slightly overwhelmed. This was such a character-driven story with so much heart and puts you in the shoes of those characters and you become connected to their
    ...more
    EmBibliophile
    Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 4-stars
    4.5 stars

    This was a case of love at first sight. I had no idea what this book was about. I only read the first line in the synopsis and then I randomly got it. Time travel is such a fascinating subject to me. In this book it was done in such a unique, heartwarming, and a really touching way. It’s a book that made me both happy and sad. It put such a sad smile on my face.

    A Cafe that gives you an opportunity to time-travel, if given the chance who would you like to meet? With a set of rules that
    ...more
    Henk
    Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Despite a tantalizing premise the execution of time travel with ever added on new rules is sloppy. And the underlying morale of the four stories is basically highly conservative in my opinion.

    The underlying messaging that grated on me
    To kick off in respect to my last sentence I mean the following:
    The first story feels so old fashioned, with a girl crying over being left by a guy and this just continues. I mean the geek boyfriend of a stunningly beautiful girl gets a job in the US (with a game st
    ...more
    demi. ♡
    Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
    ❥ 4.5 / 5 stars

    Damn. If you read this book and you don’t cry, you’re freaking heartless.
    Elsa Rajan Pradhananga
    Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I fell in love with the blurb of this book. Before the coffee gets cold is a collection of 4 interconnected stories set in a cafe that offers its customers the unique experience of traveling in time. My mind was preoccupied with thoughts on the many possibilities as I placed my order for this book. But I won’t say I was elated when done with it because the rules the time travelers had to follow came in the way of my high spirits.

    #1. The only people you can meet are those who’ve visited the cafe
    ...more
    Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
    Like a nice cup of coffee on a rainy day, this book warmed my heart and put a smile on my face. Split into four parts, Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a wonderful, quick read that will transport readers to a mysterious cafe where its patrons are able to time-travel but must return before the coffee gets cold. There, we follow along with four different stories of characters wanting to reconcile past arguments, find closure, or assure loved ones through the use of time-travel.

    While this book is sl
    ...more
    Tan Markovic
    Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorites
    A new favourite 😍💖..
    Scott
    Feb 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
    Shelves: fiction
    This book reminds me of an old Italian car, perhaps an Alfa Romeo, or a 1970s Ferrari.

    On the surface it looks great, but when you start it up... oh dear. At best the poor thing limps along well under the speed limit, an ominous cacophony of clunking sounds and grinding noises issuing from under the hood.

    I was expecting much more as this is a book that has a lot of fans.

    I can see why - the central concept is a nice one, and the stories are cute, in a way that is quite charmingly Japanese. In an o
    ...more
    Sam Quixote
    Apr 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
    Who wouldn’t want to time travel? Well, you probably wouldn’t if you had to follow these very precise, arbitrary and convoluted rules - yes, even more so than the usual! So the characters in this story can time travel but only to the relatively recent past and they have to sit in a specific seat at a specific table - which they can’t leave once they time travel, which means they can’t leave the cafe - and only for the duration it takes for a coffee to cool, after which you have to drink it down ...more
    Katie Lumsden
    Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I enjoyed this a lot - it's a sweet and powerful story, really nicely written and a great quick read.
    Chris
    Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Before the Coffee Gets Cold is about a cafe that has a seat that will transport you in time. There are some rules you must follow though, such as the person you're meeting must have been to that cafe before and you must return before your coffee gets cold, and you cannot change what's happened in the past.

    This book is amazing! That's all I can really say. I instantly was transported to this little cafe and absorbed in the different characters and their lives. The stories (four that are interconn
    ...more
    Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Four interlinked stories in a small Tokyo cafe where time travel is possible if you follow the rules...

    I enjoyed the characters in the novel and how you learned their back stories through the stories of others.

    I have a review of this book from the publisher in NetGalley, where it says it doesn't come out until November. But I see the book reviewed a lot and on sale various places so who can tell.
    Sara
    3.5 stars.

    I think if I hadn't recently read The Midnight Library, this would have got a higher rating. They share similar themes of regret and redemption but while Matt Haig's book managed to move me to tears, this just left me feeling a little lacking in anything.

    The Funiculi Funicula cafe gives its patrons the ability to travel back in time. However, there are rules. You must sit in one particular seat and not move from it (normally occupied by a rather grumpy ghost), nothing that you do in
    ...more
    Alex Ankarr
    Hands down, 100%, no competition, BEST BOOK OF THE DECADE. If you're only going to read one book this year, then believe me, this is the one.

    I don't cry often, especially when reading. But this book, Goddamnit...
    Nattapan
    3.5 stars. Quite moving.

    In sum, this story indicates that the only thing you can really change is yourself.
    fourtriplezed
    Jul 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
    I wanted something light to read. This was so light it blew away. Seriously poor. 200 pages of my life I will never get back. Nothing more to add.
    Alison
    Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
    I have to admit to being a little disappointed in this and not only because of the lack of a cat despite one being shown on the cover. Having recently developed a love of Japanese fiction I was very excited to come across this on Netgalley, particularly when I read the blurb and discovered it was a story involving time travel (I love stories with time travel). Perhaps my expectations were too high as while I loved the concept behind it I didn't really connect to it and it became an OK read rathe ...more
    Andrea Tomé
    Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
    A poignant, atmospheric and heart-warming book which will make the perfect Winter read. Before the Coffee Gets Cold has one of the most original (and weirdly cosy?) premises I have ever read, and the lyrical writing and colourful cast of characters make it justice.
    Before the Coffee Gets Cold is on the quieter side — not a lot of things happen, but the time-traveling element links every little story together.
    This is one of the most humane novels I’ve read in a while. It explores identity, love (
    ...more
    Richard
    Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I’m sorry but, here is a book that made me cry.

    I have always enjoyed the fantasy of time travel and the temporal anomalies associated with it.
    In these four stories, linked throughout by familiar characters, we learn author Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s gentle thoughts on the subject. This isn’t so much science fiction as interpretation of the human heart.

    He has created a basement café where time seems to have little influence. Three clocks adorn the wall and only one appears to show the correct time. N
    ...more
    Tatiana
    Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    4.5
    I loved this book so much. It made me emotional at some point and I even cried. It has been such a bittersweet story about learning to accept the situation one finds him/herself in and by changing their attitude and their reaction to it making things right or as right as they can be.

    I really enjoyed all the stories in this little book. The first one probably wasn't my favorite, but the rest three were so touching and heartwarming that I couldn't help loving the book, although in the first cha
    ...more
    Nada Elshabrawy
    Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: audio, english
    it will never happen again, she will never see her sister again.
    Mridula Gupta
    Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: magical-realism
    What if a cafe allowed you to go back in time and have a different conversation with someone you love, someone who is not with you anymore?
    Before the Coffee Gets Cold takes us to one such cafe, with its rich and lush history, a mysterious ambience that has been maintained through generations, and a quirky rumour that is apparently very much true.
    -
    The concept of time travel has been used repeatedly in books, but what makes this one different is the lesson it leaves behind. We meet four different
    ...more
    Vanessa
    This was a sweet collection of interconnected stories, all based around one time-travelling cafe with a lot of rules. It was quite sentimental, and dealt with some quite dark topics which genuinely surprised me. But I found the way this was written to be a little too removed and bare bones for me. I'm not surprised this was adapted into a novel from a play, because it reads like a play - both in its use of a single setting, and also in the way characters' clothing is heavily described. I found t ...more
    Lauralai
    Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 5-stars, 2020
    I’m a teary-eyed mess right now
    Rachel Hall
    May 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

    There is a message to the four stories but it takes a lot of sticking with to find and appreciate it!

    Before the Coffee Gets Cold was initially penned as a stage play and consists of four stories that take place in a basement café in Tokyo called Funiculi Funicula that, thanks to a magazine article discussing its potential for time travel, has become something of an urban legend. The rules however are very onerous with the biggest sticking point t
    ...more
    Emily Fordham
    Before the Coffee Gets Cold
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I’ve been in a run of really amazing books recently and because of this I’m reading more than ever. You know that phrase ‘sleep breeds sleep’? Well I think ‘reading breeds reading’ the more you do it the more you want to do it (and even more so when the books are THIS good).
    Before the Coffee Gets Cold is one of those books that makes me so glad I’m a reader. Perfectly formed, bittersweet, touching, hopeful and whimsical all at the same time. The setting of t
    ...more
    Cammie
    May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This small Tokyo cafe has the ability to transport patrons through time. Before the Coffee Gets Cold relates the interconnected narratives of four characters' experiences at Funiculi Funicula where a special seat and the special mocha coffee have extraordinary time traveling powers.
    As one would expect, there are rules:
    1. The only people you can meet are those who have visited the cafe.
    2. There is nothing you can do to change the present.
    3. There's only one seat that allows you to go back in time
    ...more
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

    Readers also enjoyed

    • 82년생 김지영
    • Girl, Woman, Other
    • Dolores
    • 3 วันดี 4 วันเศร้า
    • Damascus
    • Little Siberia
    • The Strangers We Know
    • Grand Union: Stories
    • 나는 나로 살기로 했다 (겨울 스페셜 에디션)
    • How It Was
    • The Day We Meet Again
    • ผมบอกรักเธอผ่านหุ่นยนต์
    • 17 Church Row
    • Through the Wall
    • The Land of Roar
    • Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly
    • I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
    • Unicorn: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen
    See similar books…

    Other books in the series

    Before the Coffee Gets Cold (3 books)
    • Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café
    • 在回憶消逝之前

    News & Interviews

    The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
    6 likes · 1 comments
    “Water flows from high places to low places. That is the nature of gravity. Emotions also seem to act according to gravity. When in the presence of someone with whom you have a bond, and to whom you have entrusted your feelings, it is hard to lie and get away with it. The truth just wants to come flowing out. This is especially the case when you are trying to hide your sadness or vulnerability. It is much easier to conceal sadness from a stranger, or from someone you don’t trust.” 5 likes
    “We must become friends before this coffee cools.” 1 likes
    More quotes…