Time Traveling with a Cup of Coffee


Do you ever want to change your past? Do you ever feel regretful because you made bad mistakes in the past? Do you need to find a time machine now because of regrets in the past? Well, that’s what happens in the novel "Before the Coffee Gets Cold" by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. Dear EDSA Website reader, we will review and discuss a novel called "Before the Coffee Gets Cold" today. Hope you all like it!

This novel is about an underground cafe in Tokyo called Funiculi Funicula Cafe that can take someone to time-travel to the past or the future. If you want to attempt time traveling at the cafe, there are several rules that you must follow first. First, at once, sit on the empty chair that was previously sat by a lady ghost of cafe visitors. Next, immediately drink the coffee that is served before it gets cold. If you don't, you will be trapped in it. Then, please do not move from the chair during time travel.

The novel is divided into four different stories. The first, titled "The Lovers," tells the story of a woman named Fumiko Kiyokawa who wants to return to the past to stop her lover, Goro, from going to America. The second, "Husband and Wife," tells the story of a man with Alzheimer's disease named Fusagi who wants to go back in time to give a letter to his wife, Kotake. The third, "The Sisters," tells the story of a sister's regret over his sister's death. The last one, "Mother and Child," tells the story of a mother who wants to meet her child in the future.

For me, this novel has a fresh and unique premise because, in my experience, I rarely find novels with a premise like this. This novel also tells a story that is quite simple but still full of meaning. Featuring fantasy, magical realism, and slice-of-life genres, this novel is still comfortable to read because the writing is so simple, and the page count is just appropriate. Therefore, this novel is recommended to be read by anyone because the reader does not have to think hard about the theory of time travel in science. We are simply served with realistic stories of café customers that are packed with spiritual fiction and time-traveling fantasy. There are many moral messages in this novel, although the core message is about regret.

What I didn't like about this novel is the lack of clarity about the history of time travel in the cafe and the full story of the white lady ghost. If you want to know more, you can buy the sequel titled "Before Your Memory Fades," which I unfortunately haven't read yet. Maybe you can immediately read the book’s sequel.

I would recommend this novel to you all because this novel has a moral lesson about how we should not be selfish or overly self-centered so that sometimes we are indifferent to the feelings of others. This novel also teaches us that we must respect all the things around us so that regrets do not arise. 

Regret is something that we often get, and it is tough to change from the beginning because time goes on. Despite time-travel technology, the future is still irreversible. Once we have already fallen into regret, we should get up and do things that we can still save. This novel is also enjoyable to read but still has a meaningful story.

“At the end of the day, whether one returns to the past or travels to the future, the present does not change.” -Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Writer: Alfina Nurzaima Editor: Marsha Almira