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Summary

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 100 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. 

©2019 Toshikazu Kawaguchi (P)2019 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

What listeners say about Before the Coffee Gets Cold

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Just No

All the male characters are asses. Goro in the first chapter decides the best time to inform his girlfriend of three years that he has accepted a job in America, is on his way to the airport. In the second chapter, the character with Alzheimer's commits two acts of horrendous emotional harm, both of which are spoilers I can't specify. The third and fourth chapters are driven by characters who refuse, for no reason, to discuss PIVOTAL information with their loved ones. So, no. Not an enjoyable listen for me.

10 people found this helpful

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Time travel

You probably wouldn't notice this tiny Tokyo café if you just walked past. But according to an urban legend, you can travel in time here. But only if you sit in a particular chair, at a particular time, and remember to return to the present before the coffee gets cold. Who would you go see if you were able to travel back in time for a few minutes?

I really enjoyed this book. It reads a bit like watching a play - like we are watching a stage that is always the same, with characters coming and going. I actually really liked all the rules that has to be obeyed in order to time travel, and I liked that we don't get many answers as to why it is like it is. It's as if we just get to peek into this café for a little while, and then when we leave, it continues to exist without us.

7 people found this helpful

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Great story - read very slowly

Really enjoyed the story but I had to listen in x1.25 as the reader is very slow.

6 people found this helpful

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Beautiful

Beautifully written story and very interesting concept. Time travel that is all about love, connections, and humanity.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • E.
  • 20-02-22

intriguing story

Intriguing story with a happy ending.
The audio narrator did a great job.
i'd recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Tears streaming down my cheeks

Just like the Midnight Diner, expect some tearful moments...
very moving...
Eager to listen to the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Great premise

what a great story, I like how it all tied together even if it was quite predictable.

2 people found this helpful

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Sorry just didn't enjoy

Empty storyline and hammed up performance - not for me I'm afraid. Very sorry x

1 person found this helpful

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Great story

Loved the concept, great tales how their lives intertwined and how going to the past changes them, occasionally a little annoying going over the rules constantly but overall great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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the best book I've ever read!

bought the book physically first and fell in love with it finished it in less than a week. wanted to read it again but didn't and couldn't have time to sit down and read it again so I bought the audio version.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Kim Stone
  • Kim Stone
  • 13-03-22

Listened for Work Book Club

New to me author. This was a book club read. MF time travel story about a Japanese coffee shop and the people who work there.

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  • Sharon Spear
  • 21-04-21

Not my cup of Coffee

Painfully slow, I really struggled with this book. There was not a single part I liked.

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  • Claudia Pino
  • 07-01-21

Special

An unusual premise, a bittersweet story. I have a renewed appreciation of using time wisely, saying things when they have to be said, and not letting opportunities escape, after reading this book.