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Before the Coffee Gets Cold
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Before the Coffee Gets Cold

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  4,375 ratings  ·  791 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 the
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 19th 2019 by Picador (first published December 6th 2015)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,375 ratings  ·  791 reviews

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Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

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
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
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
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
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.
Andrea Tome
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
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...
3.5 stars. Quite moving.

In sum, this story indicates that the only thing you can really change is yourself.
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 ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily Fordham
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 this book
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 ...more
Trishita (TrishReviews_ByTheBook)
Folksy with a touch of magical realism, Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is a time travelling novel translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot.

The story is set in a quaint, underground cafe in Tokyo surrounded by an urban legend: it allows people to go back in time, and in the four short chapters of the novel, we see four different characters travel back in time to meet their loved ones, all for different reasons. But, there are rules to time travel, quite a handful of
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first time I have read a translation of Japanese literature, so I was unsure what to expect. This little book is about a small cafe where sitting in one particular chair allows patrons to return to a time in the past of their choosing, however there are some very strict rules, which include that they are unable to leave the seat, and must finish their coffee before it gets cold. We follow the stories of a number of patrons as they make the decision to go back to the past to see ...more
Really good collection of time travel stories. There are 4 stories in this book revolving around the same set of characters. This is about a cafe which allows people to time travel but they need to come back to the present before the coffee gets cold. The premise sounded interesting and unique which is why I wanted to read. The first story was the weakest and the last story was the best. The stories are quite emotional and well written. This is a very underrated book that I feel more people ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really beautiful and touching story following four different people’s lives as they travel back in time (and once in the future) to meet their nearest and dearest. A heartfelt and deeply satisfying read.
"Before the coffee gets cold" was a short whimsical read about a special cafe in Tokyo which allows you to travel back in time. The whole story takes place in the coffee shop. However there are three rules to be kept in mind to time travel, you can only meet someone who was been to the cafe before, you must sit in a particular place in the cafe while doing so and you must drink your coffee in the time travel slot before it gets cold.

There are four stories in the book, of four different people,
rina dunn
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book really is a little gem. It's left such an impact on me in the way it's really made me think about how important it is to be close to my family. To not leave things unsaid.
It's beautifully written in a warm and engaging manner. It made me smile and cry numerous times sometimes simultaneously.
The legend is that In a small cafe in Japan there's the chance to travel back in time.
There are many rules one being that you must drink the coffee before it goes cold.
The book is split into
I was drawn to this book thanks to its blurb: a cute little story about a café where customers are able to travel in time. We learn about the rules of the café and the regulars’ lives throughout the four stories that comprise the narrative, tackling themes like love, growth, and regret over things not said or done in the past. It may be due to the English translation, but the characters seemed very one-dimensional and theatrical, which ultimately made the story feel very flat and ...more
I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a sweet, short novel about a very special cafe in Tokyo that allows people to go back to their past. There are, however, three rules - you can only go back in the past to meet someone who has visited the cafe, you must sit in a particular seat in the cafe while doing so and you must drink your coffee during your time travel window before it gets
Suad Shamma
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, own, 2019
I love Japanese literature, and this was a true pleasure to read. I loved the bit of magic realism involved and how the stories were all somehow intertwined and connected through the different set of characters. This was a beautiful collection of stories all revolving around heartbreak and loss.

It takes place in a coffeeshop, one that isn't too flashy, you'd probably barely notice it if you walked past it. Doesn't have a huge capacity for people, and you'd usually find the usual customers
Teenu Vijayan
Intended rating is 3.5.
It's a sweet short whimsical story that takes on time travelling concept and gives you a romantic (sort of) story. I did enjoy the book, though at times all the names got confusing and I had to rewind a little bit to clarify the names and their plot lines.
Rebekah Sussex
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
rather quirky and delightful

would you choose to time travel if it was only for a few minutes, you couldn’t leave your chair, and nothing would change??
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this short book. Interesting idea, though some of the stories in it are quite sad.
Jane Hunt
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, in a nondescript coffee shop in Tokyo. This story has only a few characters. Everyone in the coffee shop has a story, and this follows four individuals as they travel back in time, not to change the present, but to understand someone they care about better. Or, to make themselves understood. The time travel has many rules, but for those who follow them, there are surprisingly positive results.

This story is beautifully translated, and the ambience and
Abi Robins
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wish-list
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is a novel translated from Japanese about a small little cafe which seems to have a secret. If you sit in one seat, you can travel in time.

This book has absolutely gorgeous writing, if you are at all familiar with other Japanese media you'll also likely feel that the translation by Geoffrey Trousselot has kept the emotion and feelings of the original work. It is a style unique to that culture, and it works so well for this concept.
We follow four
Stephy Simon
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is about a coffee shop in Tokyo that can offer its customers an improbable experience.

The guests of the cafe Funiculli Funicula, which is more than a century old, can return to their own past or visit the future.

Originally the story was written as a play but was later turned into a novel. In 2018, the book was adapted to Japanese movie Cafe Funiculli Funicula.

The story focuses on the fictional cafe and the people visiting it. They are Fumiko
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: east-asia

So moving and poignant yet so hopeful.
It was so so so much better than I expected it to be.
Smitha Murthy
It’s difficult to really create something unique in the world of time travel. Either you are left too confused or you are left too confused. Well, you are confused. That’s been my experience in reading books that deal with this genre. But not ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold.’ Despite the overt sentimentality, I found myself cheering on each of the quirky characters in the lovely little book. What if you could travel back to the past or peer into the future? But with the knowledge that you can’t ...more
Kelly Furniss
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Tokyo there is a cafe in the backstreets that doesn't seem to have changed since the 1800's.
Myth has it that in this shop there is a certain chair that if you sit on you can travel back in time and beyond the present. But there are restrictions the main one being is you must return before your coffee gets cold.
So who are the kind of people that would do this, what would they need to do in such a short space of time and why?. It poises the question that if you could go back in time what would
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