‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’: just my cup of coffee


Source: HarperCollins (Link to https://www.harpercollins.com/)

Sana Muneer, Editor in Chief

Hidden in the quiet back alleys of Tokyo resides an old, pensive cafe. Often empty, with the occasional visitor or two, there’s more to Funiculi Finicula than the delicate pastries and delectable beverages it serves. 

Skeptics say that it is merely an urban legend, a mere myth. But customers are drawn to this haven for its secret, tantalizing offer: the pricey deal of traveling back in time. 

However, this enchanting deal does not come without uncertainties. Customers intrigued by traveling back in time must abide by the cafe’s ‘time travel rules’: travelers cannot leave the cafe or their particular seat, they must return to the present before their coffee gets cold and they must not expect the present to change no matter what the traveler changes in the past.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, a heartwarming Japanese collection of shorts stories written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, readers meet four customers of this beguiling cafe, all equipped with a means to travel back in time: a woman who wishes to confront the lover who left her, a wife who wants to receive a letter from her husband who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, a girl who yearns to see her sister one last time and a mother who wants to see the daughter she was never able to meet.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is slow-paced, approaching topics like loss, grief and heartache subtly. Readers will be touched by the tender, simple nature of this book which packs a punch of emotion within its four short stories. Ultimately this is a story about love, relationships, sacrifice and the lengths one would go to for the people one cares about.

With its cozy setting, eloquent prose and picturesque imagery, Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is an engaging, thought-provoking read.

“Just remember. Drink the coffee before it goes cold,” she whispered.”