Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold


By Toshikazu Kawaguchi
272 pages
November 2020

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

Heartwarming, wistful, mysterious and delightfully quirky, Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s internationally bestselling novel explores the age-old question: What would you change if you could travel back in time?

"Before the Coffee Gets Cold... may explore similar ground to its predecessors in the genre, but it inventively limits the mechanics of its time travel to the confines of a small cafe, and is all the more resonant for it... the narrative is deeply moving." -Chicago Review of Books

"Heartwarming, quirky, and wistful." -Huffpost

"Toshikazu lays out a system of time travel that is unconvoluted and beautifully simple... This charmingly magical novel is about discovering happiness despite the pasts that we desperately want to revisit." -The Harvard Crimson

"An affecting, deeply immersive journey into the desire to hold onto the past. This wondrous tale will move readers." -Publishers Weekly
"This is a sweet, fable-like tale about a magical seat in a cafe where you can, if you wish, go back in time… An odd read, but also a charming one."  
The Sydney Morning Herald