Monday, September 18, 2023

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time.

Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of making that journey. But time travel isn’t so simple, and there are rules that must be followed. Most important, the trip can last only as long as it takes for the coffee to get cold.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold explores the age-old question: What would you change if you could travel back in time?
This was so much more than I realized it would be. Within this simply told tale are the stories of four people who go to a special cafe in order to time travel. The rules are strict, the time is very limited, and it seems impossible that they could accomplish much. However, each is surprised by what they find. And therein lies a wonderful, charming tale.


  1. The author wrote a sequel, following a number of the characters about 10 years later. Just as lovely

    1. The fourth book in the series is about to come out now. I wanted to wait a while between reading the different books so that they didn't run together for me. I'm looking forward to my future reading!