Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Toshikazu Kawaguchi

fiction Fantasy
emotional hopeful sad medium-paced
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 café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer's, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

What the community thinks

summary of 208 ratings (see reviews)


emotional 70%
hopeful 50%
reflective 50%
sad 50%
inspiring 20%
relaxing 20%
lighthearted 15%
mysterious 15%
funny 10%
dark 5%
tense 5%


medium 60%
slow 35%
fast 5%

Strong character development?

Yes: 62% | It's complicated: 25% | No: 12%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 56% | It's complicated: 25% | No: 18%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 56% | Yes: 18% | It's complicated: 12% | N/A: 12%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 56% | It's complicated: 18% | No: 18% | N/A: 6%

Average rating