Book Reviews

Before the coffee gets cold – Book Review

Let’s start this with a question? What would you do if you were given an opportunity to time travel, past or future? Would you mend something that you wish had not happened, or would you want to meet someone you lost in the journey of your life? Or would you choose to see what the future holds for you? 

I am sure most of you must have already started thinking about what you would do and trust me when I picked up this book and read its blurb, I was also excited and got thinking as to what I would do. Revisit the past or see the future. 

The reason I picked this book is because it’s by a Japanese author, Toshikazu Kawaguchi. Earlier I was stuck to books based in Afghan or Arab countries, and then I moved on to read some Indian Authors (not the sloppy IIT/IIM boy met girl love stories which saw a spike in the market thanks to Chetan Bhagat). Now I am reading books by authors from around the globe, Korean, Japanese, Dominic Republic, Chinese and more. The reason being, I get an insight into their culture and lifestyle along with a good story to read. I feel each region also comes with its own style of storytelling, unboxing something new about their culture, making it an interesting read for me. I choose my books after a lot of review reading and hence, I too like to leave my own reviews after I have finished a book. You can read my book reviews here on my blog or visit my Goodreads page here

Now, talking about the book, lets first look at the Blurb. 

Blurb: The book Before the coffee gets cold is about a hundred-year-old underground café in Tokyo, Japan which, apart from serving its customers coffee, can also teleport them into the past or future. Yes, but this is not so easy as it sounds. To do so, there are some rules to be followed and one of the rules is the title of the book. 

Photo by Jason Villanueva on

The story is about the 4 visitors who come to the café and wish to time travel. One wants to confront a lover while other wants to receive something from her husband whose memory is dwindling due to Alzheimer’s. One wants to meet her sister and other wants to meet her future daughter. All these visitors have some story to say before they travel back in past or future. 

But the experience is not easy to attain. Though the café was popular for its ability to teleport, many people chose not to do so because of the many conditions that were to be followed and you cannot faulter with them. However, the 4 visitors take their chance and time travel.  

Review: The author has written this story as if it’s a stage play with only one set location, the coffee shop and few characters coming in and out of the café. The 4 stories of the visitors have been interwoven beautifully to share their individual story yet making it a part of the big picture and also sharing some interesting life lessons after they time travel. My favorite line from the book is “At the end of the day, whether one returns to the past or travels to the future, the present doesn’t change.”

Photo by Alan kardek Ribeiro on

Somewhere some lines are repetitive and in between I found the book to be a bit slow paced and was eager to know what happens next. The book is like a play written in a book format with everything happening inside the café with the limited characters and dialogues. 

The book is a light and a quick read. Don’t expect something wow to come out of it. It’s a feel-good book with something to take away from the 4 characters experience after they time travelled. 

And yes, don’t forget to get your cup of coffee before you sit to read this book. Who knows where you may be after you finish reading it. 

This book gets 3.5 stars. 

This blog is a part of Blogchatters #halfmarathon

By mummatalks

Mom of two brats, use to work as an analyst now a SAHM. Love books.

23 replies on “Before the coffee gets cold – Book Review”

I have read this book too and agree with your review. Though slow in parts, it’s theme is quite interesting and is well woven. In fact it leaves us thinking if we would ever venture into something similar if an opportunity presents itself.

I very recently added the book to my TBR because the premise was interesting. I didn’t know it’s written like a play. I shall keep your review in mind while reading it 😉

As I read the line – The story is about the 4 visitors who come to the café and wish to time travel, I was imagining it to be a play. Infant, it can be a wonderful play. Going by the theme of the book of time travel, I think the pace is sort of expected.

I agree that reading books from other countries’s authors give us an insight about other cultures And we get a chance to learnt a lot about their traditions and even rituals too. The plot of this book sounds ok to me. As the pace is slow, I am not sure it would be like it or not.

I like your idea of reading authors from around the world. It is so true that you get an insight into the culture and life of people across the globe. Would love to read your review.s

I agreed that reading from authors in diverse demography let’s a peek into their culture and tradition. Books definitely play a major role when we want to learn more. The blurb sounds seemingly interesting. I loved your honest review and will try getting this

I have seldom read any foreign author book other than English. The idea of time travelling sounds quite interesting. I will try to get this book.

What an interesting storyline! This book can be converted into a movie, don’t you think? Personally if I had a chance to travel back in time and change a few things, I will go back and fix them for sure. I am someone who lives in the moment but learns from the past.

Wow is the word for the concept of this book of teleporting people. It got me thinking and what I will do if I get this opportunity. I would like to get my mother back as in this journey of life I lost her pretty soon. Would love to read this book Hansa.

Trip & Coffe wow the title itself is so interesting and the blurb totally made me a fan of the story already. I guess this book and story can be adapted to make a OTT platform series.

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