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  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold

  • Written by: Toshikazu Kawaguchi
  • Narrated by: Arina Ii
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (177 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heart melting stories of time travel!

What a weird genre! Heart felt stories when people travel in past through a lesser known underground cafe in Japan. it's not sci fi, it's not love stories. it's just weird stories which are absolutely smashing.

loved reading this book. Four stars though because I thought editing could have been crisper and the book could be half of actually what it is.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Emotional and Intriguing

This is well narrated and well written. Short stories which touch your heart.Short and sweet. A joyful listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Engaging

I liked the theme of the book, while nothing can change the present, but if you get a change of heart and your perspectives, you can live more happily and content. All about accepting and rejoicing the little things in life.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just okay

The narration was nice. The plot is meh.
I feel this is a plot better suited to a movie than a book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Must Read

An engaging tale to show how powerful true love is and what really matters in life........Simply amazing......narration was awesome .......

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A simple and beautiful read

I am very happy to listen to this book,such great way of expressing emotions and human desires.Must read or listen to as you would prefer.

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Absolutely loved it

I loved the narration and the beautiful story! it's a beautiful story and the way it has been narrated is absolutely amazing! Great work!

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My Favorite!!!

I will forever keep this book with me. It was heartwarming, loveable and beautifully written...

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Brilliant premise but story telling was not so

The premise is superb and the characters are etched well. narration was not very gripping. somewhere in the middle I lost interest in the storyline

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A feel-good read , with substance.

A slow moving yet thoughtfully arranged plot. The pace carries you along smoothly rather than making you feel bored. The descriptions and little sneak peeks into the characters' life histories enhance the reader's experience further by connecting the dots between their past and present. Set in a cosy basement cafe, this story is simple, lucid, and certainly engaging.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Atkinson
  • 26-09-19

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 23-05-20

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • alice
  • 20-12-19

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Billy-Ray McEvoy
  • 05-04-22

Beautiful

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Client d'Amazon
  • 07-12-21

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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-11-21

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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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerry
  • 08-06-22

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lucy Matthews
  • 19-05-22

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss RKL
  • 28-09-21

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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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Caroline Horlock
  • 23-09-21

So boring

Dreary, dull and sooo boring. I have no idea what all the hype is about!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul Watkins
  • 08-11-20

Don't hesitate. download it now!

took the first chapter ro get into it, but OMG once into it, the thoughts and teats flowed. an absolutely extraordinary book. At the end you will wish it carried on. Makes you think and appreciate life. I can't recommend it highly enough.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-11-19

Beautiful

Absolutely loved it.


"No matter what difficulties people face, they will always have the strength to overcome them, it just takes heart."

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Janet MacMenigall
  • 08-09-22

it a no from me

the premise sounded like a great idea, imagine being able to go back to meet or have an unfinished, unresolved conversation with a loved one, a friend, a missed opportunity but it just didn't deliver. the characters seemed childish, sulky and spoilt and the writing just seemed amateurish.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ayesha
  • 26-08-22

Different, deep & beautiful

Different, to what I would normally read, but this was a bookclub read.
A little slow at times, and took a while to get into, and found the characters a bit hard to work out who was who to start with. But each chapter was beautiful and finished with a lovely feeling. Worth the listen.