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Average user rating 4.8
152

Coffee Prince Store #1: First Cup

Okay okay, so I’m totally behind on Air City (and Bad Couple, and soon to be Flowers For My Life…) but I promise I’ll get to it.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be following COFFEE PRINCE (and I’m wary of jumping into things purely based on hype), but come on, with a name like that, how could I not be watching? It ain’t javabeans for nuthin’.

Today’s first episode (cutely labeled “First Cup” instead of the standard “Episode 1”) was cute and entertaining enough — if just for the sheer curiosity of watching one of Korea’s prettiest faces acting like a boy — to merit “breezy summer watch” status. Like a beach novel for drama addicts.

 
Off to a light and frothy start, I’m not sure Coffee Prince promises much profundity, but who needs to find deep meanings in everything? It doesn’t mean Coffee Prince can’t take a turn for the serious later on (Bad Couple surprised me with its recent developments), but I’m not going in expecting that.

Part of the charm is watching such a gorgeous girl as Yoon Eun Hye stripping away all the makeup and femininity and acting like a boy. Not just looking like one (which she does), but getting down the mannerisms — the careless swagger, the unpretentious lack of coy self-awareness that many girls have.

Plus, Korea loves to reward those who step outside of vanity (which is so strictly enforced by the media and the rabid fan culture) for the purpose of a role, like Samsoon did for Kim Sun Ah. Yoon Eun Hye’s already a superstar, but we’ll see if this earns her some serious acting cred to go with her mainstream popularity. Or maybe not, who knows.

 
PRODUCTION INFO

Director Lee Yoon Jung 이윤정: “태릉선수촌” (Taereung National Village), “매직 파워 알콜” (Magic Power Alcohol”
Scriptwriters Lee Jung Ah and Jang Hyun Joo
Based on novel by Lee Sun Mi

Official site: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/drama/coffeeprince/index.html

 
CAST

Yoon Eun Hye 윤은혜 stars as Go Eun Chan
Gong Yoo 공유 is Choi Han Gyul
Lee Sun Kyun 이선균 as Choi Han Sung
Chae Jung An 채정안 as Han Yoo Joo, or Yu Ju if you prefer

 
EPISODE 1 SUMMARY

The story’s pretty simple: EUN CHAN is a hard-working young woman who looks (and acts) like a boy — so much so that people even question her when she insists she’s female. She works multiple jobs, delivering jjajangmyun (Chinese-style noodles) and milk, and teaching Taekwondo. She’s used to being mistaken for a boy, but doesn’t really seem to care. She’s also got a huge appetite.

HAN GYUL is a rich, conceited ladies’ man who’s got women throwing themselves at him left and right. His mother and grandmother are after him to marry and stop playing around with his life, although they too aren’t immune to his charm when he deflects with sweet words. His grandmother is the head of a large (food?) company and he’s been living off her money, and agrees to go on a matchmaking date to appease her. (Han Gyul’s a playboy, but has a soft spot for YU JU, who used to date his older cousin, HAN SUNG (Lee Sun Kyun of the swoony velvety voice.) That rounds out our main love rectangle.)

They briefly meet when Eun Chan delivers jjajangmyun to Han Gyul, and she’s shocked to see him flashing his family jewels at her from under his loosely draped towel. He doesn’t think much of it, but it flusters her. And just in case you’re wondering how much she actually saw, I think it’s safe to assume she saw plenty. And I’m not talking about the towel.

Eun Chan’s younger sister, EUN SAE, a pretty, feminine girl in her last year of high school, calls Eun Chan “oppa” (meaning brother, rather than “unni” for sister) and seems to regularly call Eun Chan to help when she’s being pestered by annoying guys.

This time (meeting at the run-down Coffee Prince cafe) it’s Min Yup bothering her, a somewhat coarse, uncouth guy who insists he loves Eun Sae. He assumes Eun Chan is Eun Sae’s boyfriend, and Eun Chan doesn’t bother correcting his misconception. She easily subdues the hot-tempered Min Yup, but agrees to a challenge — an eating contest. First person to finish five bowls of jjajangmyun wins; loser pays (with money and presumably also his pride).

It is truly one of the more disgusting things I’ve seen in my life:

Eun Sae makes it worse by mixing in fruit yogurt in Min Yup’s dish, and as he watches Eun Chan eat her radishes with yogurt, he can’t take it. He loses.

Their family’s big problem is money, with a mother who’s careless with funds and a general tight economy all around. On top of their house deposit needing to be paid (approximately $10,000 — leases are paid in a lump sum), their mother has thoughtlessly lost someone else’s expensive ring, and the person wants it back. Eun Chan tries to go around asking for employee loans or paycheck advances, but doesn’t get anywhere.

 

Things get worse when Eun Chan witnesses a purse-snatching and rushes to catch the thief, only to find it’s her sister’s not-boyfriend. Unfortunately, the victim is Yu Ju, who’s there with Han Gyul.

Eun Chan goes easy on Min Yup when he says he was going to help pay for her sister’s school fees; she instructs him under her breath to shove her aside and run away. He does, and she pretends to chase him but allows his escape.

Yu Ju is thankful for her purse’s return, but Han Gyul sees everything and assumes it was a con operation planned between Eun Chan and the thief. Still, he says he feels sorry for her and gives Eun Chan his card to contact him for reimbursement for her scooter, which was damaged in the process. As a result, she’s fired from her delivery job.


Eun Chan first encounters Han Sung when she greets his dog while delivering milk. On the other side of the fence, he hears her talk affectionately with the dog (and this is how he knows that Eun Chan is female, since she refers to herself as a girl). Curious, he goes out to see her as she bicycles away.

He is, meanwhile, nursing a still-wounded heart over Yu Ju, whom we can assume dumped him in some cold and callous way, judging from the way he can barely stand to look at her. I just hope she didn’t leave him to go off and treat her terminal cancer in the States and is now back to win him over again.

Han Sung and Eun Chan officially meet when she takes another part-time job as a server at a wine bar. Han Sung recognizes her as the delivery girl, and in a thematically related conversation, Eun Chan learns his dog isn’t a girl, as she’d presumed, but a boy.

He’s adorable and I love him already. In fact, I like him so much I don’t know how they’re going to flip me over to Team Han Gyul, cuz Gong Yoo’s assy ego ain’t doing it for me.

Eun Chan reaaaally doesn’t want to ask Han Gyul for money (compensation for her bike repairs), but she doesn’t have many options. She agonizes between pride and money, money and pride… and finally decides that pride won’t feed her.

She visits him, and he remarks what a girly face she’s got for a guy. She asks for the money, and he gives her a hard time, insinuating she’s a scammer. When he tries to remove her by force, they end up on a heap on the floor… leading to the misconception that both are gay by the girl who sees them there.

Then, he insults her parents (for not raising her properly), which hugely offends her. She demands an apology, and when he doesn’t respond, she follows him all the way to his blind date. Or rather, his string of six blind dates, all with equally crazy or weird women. She pesters him all day for an apology.

(The sign reads: “Apologize, punk!”)

She follows him into the men’s room, demanding an apology and compensation. She wonders if he’s really gay, which seems to spark an idea in his mind. And he surprises her by looking at her closely and asking: “Want to play my boyfriend?”

 
KDRAMA CLICHE WATCH

  • Poor, struggling lead female…
  • …who is good-hearted enough to take care of her family…
  • …because a parent is depicted as less than fully competent of doing so herself…
  • …with a father out of the picture (I presume deceased)…
  • …working multiple jobs to make ends meet…
  • …who meets her Prince Charming in the form of a rich man who’s the inheritor of a family business…
  • …whose cold, unsentimental heart will no doubt become thawed by our heroine…
  • …and he becomes her boss…
  • …and his close relative becomes the rival for her affections…
  • …who will initially seem much more worthy of our heroine because he is accessible and kind…
  • …but who harbors a deep scar from a previous romance…
  • …with a beautiful woman who rounds out the love polygon when she comes back to reclaim his affections…
  • …with the added complication when the hero is in love with her…

And yet, I find all these cliches are made bearable by the simple, refreshing twist that one of the men thinks our heroine is a boy. And starts to question his own sexuality when he feels attracted to her, not knowing she’s actually female. Let the games begin!

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....Wait a minute: this has CANONICAL gay mindfuck? HOW AM I NOT ALREADY WATCHING THIS?

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thank you for posting the episode summary... great blogging here!

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Is she or is she not... hmm well when I watch Arirang, which is the only korean channel available in my country, I find korean women look alike. I mean not entirely but they generally look similar like the thin frame, semi slit eyes, sharp nose, tall height. long hair.. etc. But Eun-Yeh for me is different from all others. Maybe its because of her eyes that can be small and often times can be huge which is uncanny, cute and most of all different. Or, maybe its her outspokenness and honesty which can be seen in her interviews and her past x-man shows that give her that "It", that sets her apart. Plus I swear she can get away with those cheesy, innocent, like "oh come on,seriously?" scenes. Man this blogging kdrama thing is hella addicting. ^^ great site!

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can't agree more with kelso311.I like eunhye too.As the javabeans says,eunhye is one of the few "natural beauties in Korea"~I love the action in Goong,Vineyard the Man and This drama,surely her acting is cute ,natural and great~she is making all her efforts otherwise.

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It's so funny cause i just watch one of her interview where she hopes to play more womenly roles and yet she ends up playing a boy..... i think anyone who is capable of taking everything off and showing there true side is remarkable. Not to many people can pull this off and still be pretty and cute so i hope to see more of Yoon Eun Hye, cause i think she is by far one of my favorite actress.

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i got an idea of what they might do next in the coffee prince series... (just a thought since i've already finished reading the novel translations)...

------> I'm thinking that they might let Go Eun Chan be in an accident just thinking of it since according to the novel, Eun Chan had a fight with the guys who wanted to take revenge on Sun Ki. But since they change most of the plot on the latter part of the TV series (yet still follows the format of the novel) - they might end up giving Eun Chan an accident (or else, Han Kyul).
--> just saw the pics of Eun Chan wearing a wedding dress.. the ACCIDENT that i am talking about might happen on or before their wedding. --> reminder: these are just my speculations... there are a lot of things that kept coming in my head right now as to what will happen next... --> I'm so freaking getting crazy over Coffee Prince!!!!!!! ^_^

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i just think that the reasons why eun chan pretending to be a boy is not made up my mind yet. and she said that why han gyul refused her when she already kissed him and accompany him to vist han gyul's grand ma. of corse, han gyul thought she was a guy! come on...! ridicicoulus tought of her.
and why so suddenly he falls for han gyul and refused han yung's kisses. and why han gyul is the only person who can't see the different that eun chan is a girl? it's so obvious that you are a girl, said han sung...
but, i enjoy this drama...it's interesting to see this kind of relationship..more over i like yoon eun hye. can't wait for her acting in goong 2 :D

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Javabeans. I found you sooo late but so thankful I found you at all! You are sooo awesome! I've watched the drama but with my limited Korean, I know I lost so much in translation. I'm working my way through your blog (from #1 to #17) Sankyoo! Sankyoo! hahahahaahahahah...so happy happy :)

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I don't even know how i found out about Coffee Prince. I think i saw it through veoh... then started obsessing over it, that i actually learned how to download it from WithS2 clubbox.

Thanks so much for the posts. It makes my obsession over Coffee Prince more satisfying. I'm a fan of Gong Yoo from the start.. because i really think he's soooo sexy!!! as for YEH, i liked her in Goong, and Xman... plus her dance moves. So i was really excited to see this other side of her. I never had any doubt in her acting skills. Honestly, why would they pick someone to play this role, if they didn't think she can pull it off. Plus i was more excited to find out that Gong Yoo was playing HK. I also saw not just "sexiness" but actual talent. They all played their roles naturally, that it made me giggle every second. As for the cousin, i didn't like his voice in the beginning.... but then i started to love him. He's very cute. I love the relationship between him and his GF. Which i can so relate. I love the idea that they pay attention to every detail on CP. I might have missed a couple, but this is the first series in which i don't question the details. (SPOILER PEOPLE) For example: when Ahjusshi found out that his GF was pregnant he was saying how he can see the nose, arms... etc.. i was like wow that soon, he can't see it that soon... but then she came up and said something like it's only been... blah... and your already pointing out... blah. Something like that. hehehe. I don't remember the exact words, and im too lazy to go look. But yah, i was like "Oh i see, his just very excited about the baby." I love it how it was sooo realistic. I'm sure every soon to be dads did that. I know my BF did when i showed him mine. hehehe.

Anyways, thank you!!! CP is too cute.. and every cast should be given credit... and the PD and the writer. Beautifully captured and written down to the smallest details.

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yoon eun hye....
u r so great for me. whatever ur film, that is cool. u r my best actrees!!!if u have time, come to my country,Indonesia!!!!

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i think that her (YEH) being a natural beauty makes her all the more beautiful...apart from that, i really think that her acting is good...she already has 2 hit kdrama series (goong and CP) and i think that counts a lot...i mean, why would people watch those kdrama series if not for her acting?!...right?! ...

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When i first saw Yoon Eun Hye I can tell she was a girl (too skinny for a guy) but when i saw her face, OMG, she looked like a pretty boy. I fell in love with her immediately. how can a face become so pretty and yet boyish cute? She's amazing and I applaud her for doing this role (i guarantee she had excel in stepping out of the box). simply wonderful. And i love her acting, top notch.

Gong Yoo is ultimately the hottie in this picture. and i love how he's so tanned and toned. Very well done, actors should look their best anyway. He may not be drop dead gorgeous but his charms suave me. Just simply breathtaking. At times, his character just made me fall madly in love. hahahaha...

If he didn't really get to know Eun Chan as herself, he would probably not be interested in her in the first place. Although this stresses a strong argument on homosexuality but just watching this simply allures me. magnificent. brilliant. wish it was a manga so i can read it LOL

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i recently finished watching cp on dvd...i still can't imagine how many caloies yeh had gained filming this drama..anyway..i think it's worth the pound coz the drama is really good and entertaining..with actors acting like gy and yeh..i think kdrama will go a long long way..they really know their art and how should it be done..great job..kudos..

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javabeans! you are awesome!!!

thanx for sharing!!!!

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haib heev lawm os.

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I saw you.

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YEAHH! GONG YOO & YUN EUN HYE i love both of them!
so i just saw this episode cause it just aired today in Hawaii.
and i must say i'm liking it so far, and YUH really looks like a guy.

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i love joo ji hoon and yun eun hye as couples!

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Oh! My
Coffee Prince didn't let me sleep for almost 3 weeks already...
it's just so good that even you finished it already but then you would like to watch it again...
So Good Casts, So Good Director, So good Song and everything in this serie is just PERFECT. None other word can describe...

Another reason that i think i like YEH more and more maybe because her real brave to cut her hair.. i read from other article that the script for Eun Chan is also give away to other such as Kim Ah Joong (From 200 Pound Beauty) and Some girl (Who is the lead actress in Which Star are you from?) but both of them deny. Kim Ah Joon refuse because she doesn't want to cut her hair as she still has contract with some shampoo company and the girl from Which Stra are you from refuse just because she thinks that she can't act as Eun Chan and now she feels regret that she doesn't take the role.

So i really would like to give the thumb up for Eun Hye that she is really actress who doesn't care about her look. All she cares is only to act her best..

Really Love her... Yoon Eun Hye

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Oh my, I was also sleepless, until today he he he. I'd finished watching CP, but I found myself watching it over and over again! I think my dvd player in my laptop got tired of me already ha ha ha.. What can I do? I'm simply hooked up.. addicted to CP! Ha ha ha!! I hope it will be shown in my country (Philippines) soon! I can't wait to watched again dubbed in Filipino language ^_^ I also love its soundtrack! While writing this comment, I'm in our office listening to "Sad Thing" by Adult Child. Kumawa!!

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first of all.... thank you for javabeans for all the commitment in reviewing CP per episode and listing un-official ost ....

thank you... thank you..

i have been reading all the comment in your post for all entire episode, just too see how people react to this series.

i love CP so much not because of how GY is incredibly sexy, or HS deep voice, or EC antiques, or even YJ strange-attitude (at early episode) but because the story is never been drag and how the writer never make stupid-platonic-idiotic-decision through all the character (like in full house how the main male role pretends that there is "nothing happened" between him and the lady leading role in the sake of "childhood promise that he will stayed in second lady role for ever and ever bla bla bla" or how the main lady decision to "protect the male lead role" even her heart felt dying till the last blood drip)... so no fooling around on who suffer more for other sake happines as if that is the only way to show the universe how much we sacrifice for love...

beside all the cliche rule in any drama (i think not just K-drama) in CP everything solved like all the best solution come up in the real world and gathered-in in all CP character-decision-life...

some comment say it is similar with hana kimi. on first layer ok it is similar in the general that both this woman looks like a man... but in concept i think totally different.

in hana kimi ashiya mizuki pretends to be man for a reason, so she can be close and meet personally with sano izumi. she pretend to be a man in purpose. (i read the manga.. and love it ^_^d... but i dont like the series both the comedic-korean-style and the hyper-japan-type version.... watch only both first episode and enough to decide that the hana kimi essence are killed, horrible...)

in CP, EC are mistaken as man not because she pretend to be a man but because she is looked and acted like a man, even she persistent saying she is a woman people hardly believe it... so she stop trying convince people....

ps :
please dont kill me because of what i wrote about full house v^_^v

as for today ive only watch 5 of them Goong, Vinyard Man, CP (incidently all are YEH series, i found it strange too.....), Full House, and QSS because you mention it several time in your comments... but up until now i still dont get the chemistry in QSS... i dont understand how the character decide who they kissed next or sleep next or even how they felt next... please point me direction so i can understand...

god bless you javabeans....

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she's so beautiful

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i love her smile,her eyes,her lips
all the things she have^_^

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hai.. loooovvveeeee yooouuu!! i couldnt wait for it to be aired in Brunei!!!!!!!

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hyyyyyyyyyyyyy
kamu ko ga pernah main film lagi sich

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this series really ROCKS....

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w0w naman panet

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Hey, happy new year to everyone! Yes my wish was granted! CP is now being aired in the Philippines! Monday to Friday, at about 10PM, w/c started last Jan. 1, 2008, where else but Kapuso Network, GMA 7. When I first saw the preview, I was so excited! I already watched it in DVD, now I'm watching it again dubbed in Tagalog! Definitely, CP will be a sure hit here! Everybody is now talking about it, even my students were singing La,la,la, It's love! It is interesting that the characters' names where changed to english, like:

Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye)- Andie Go
Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo)- Arthur Choi
Choi Han Sung- Errol Choi
Han Yu Ju- Arleen Han

Maybe for the Filipino audience to remember the characters' names better.

Go go go Coffee Prince!!

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halo, happy new year! by the way not high way i am krysthele to see you in coffee
prince in the soft opera and i wish see you here in Philippines in personal cuz iam your fan here because i like your character in the coffee prince and also the real
you and thats all thank you.
Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye)- Andie Go
Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo)- Arthur Choi
Choi Han Sung- Errol Choi
Han Yu Ju- Arleen Han

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go coffee prince i like it.......",)..........

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i love you gong yu

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go...;.coffee prince i like your movie by the way,,i love u arthur.,.,.,

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sana my part 2 xa kc tlagng kilig 2 the mAx..................
i'd really like it so much.....
looooovevah dooooo......

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i love this a lot:)))

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i love u andyyy>. with mr. arthur

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i love wtching coffee prince... kahit mdaming beses q n tong npanood!

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Coffee Prince is a very good korean novela!

I love Eun-hye yun because she acted like she was a real boy.

Same as with Yu-kong.

He is very handsome and is very suitable for the role as a happy go lucky guy. :D

The story sure is nice and fresh like a brewed coffee.. :)

Hope to see more of them, eun-hye yun and yu-kong in different roles.

Their lovescenes in the Coffee Prince seems real.

Im very curious if they are lovers for real. :)

TO wrap things up, I love it!!! :)

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wow bagay talaga cla superrrrr........

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cute story

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hey guys am the greatest fan of yours, i do really appreciate your shows and i love you guys.....my day will not be completed if i didn't watch you....i can't sleep without seeing yoon eun hae andf gong yoo...more power to you guys i think im in love with gong yoo........bye till then

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.....Dis.......DRama was very gud
also ong yu, and yun eun hye.....
....... eun hye luksss boy....
......sana my season 2 pah!!!!!!!!!

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hi! i hope u won't mind.. i'm linking you to my site. thank u in advance.

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hi, idol am ur num. fun in the phil,

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i really love coffee prince. i am a certified addict and my day wont be complete without watching at least 3-5 episodes every night via the dvd after i watched the gma 7 with tagalog dubbing. Papa arthur/hyan kyul/hanjie and andy/go eun chan chemistry is superb that you feel its vibration. Andy is so pretty and flexible and not vain that she accepted this role who looks and acts like a boy. she is a very good actress since she really looked like a pretty boy. nice nose, cheeks, eyes but her mannerism gave credence to her being a boy. Hyan Kyul/oppa arthur's role is also refreshing and cute. His portrayal of his character and good acting and depth of emotion and passion added to his handsomeness. coffee prince is the best. i will await the cp 2 in 2 years time when papa arthur finished his military duty.

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i love you'r acting is very perfect. ilove this story really like it

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I'm falling for "Han Gyul!" He's really cute and the more he smiles the more you could find how cute he was! More novels for "Han Gyul" and "Eun Chan" of course comedy-romance novels! more power to the both of you! Aja!

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HI POH CRUSH POH KAYO NI RAYCHELLE ANG FRIEND KO POH EH SI ARTUR POH CRUSH NA CRUSH POH KAYO NI RAYCHELLE KSO KAMUKA POH KYO NI KUYA NKIM EH YUNG NASA TV PATROL WORLD

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its so funny

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philippines loves coffee prince soooo much...we love the loveteam of gong yoo and yoon eun hye...please make a sequel for this...we miss gy already

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i love gong yoo he has a perfect smile.....i wish he could come and visit the philippines

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