Rating:
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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HIYOON REUN HAE YOU YOUR MY IDOL IM KOREA HOPE TO SEE YOUR MORE MOVIE

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hi,,,,,,,,,,,gud day im enjoy wathcing ur show hope u never give up the good carrer

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sobrang gusto ko ang coffee prince.ewan ko ba kung bkit.kinikilig ako pag napapa nood ko cla.sana wag na tong matapos

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ganda na sna .... bitin naman.. hindi man lang pinakita na ikinasal cla
]

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Wow! I've just discovered your blog and I want to commend you on some of the best entertainment writing I've ever read. You do a fantastic job!! Coffee Prince has just about wrapped up its second run, I think, here in San Francisco on the AZN cable channel. And of course a KDrama about a girl pretending to be a boy who falls for a boy who thinks he's a boy and questioning his own sexuality in the process....well, that happens almost every day here in SF. My sister and I have become addicted to this show and we couldn't wait for the weekly episodes. We ran to the nearest Korean supermarket to purchase the DVDs. This is a great show with a great premise with a refreshing twist in that it's told by an Asian perspective. I can't begin to tell you how much I love this show!! Oh, and Gong Yoo is officially my new dream boyfriend.

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hi ur movie is so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!nice i like it so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!much!!!!!!!!!!!!mwuah!!!!luv yah ol!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ep 1 was quite a good start IMO. YEH’s really pretty altho she’s a boy..and I adore her character. So tomboyish, cool and sassy.hehehe..

The drama does start off cliche, like all dramas do anyway..but I’m looking forward to see more. Esp with GY and LSG…how can you miss this? hehehe..

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so nice! i'm a super fan ng coffee prince...!

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You write so well I'm tempted to read everything.
I didn't think this was a good series to watch, but I stand corrected. Every "cup" [episode] never fails to bring me to the edge of my seat. :)

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Eun Hye was so Cute, I found this page called KpopVideo.com, they have a big collection of Eun Hye pictures and videos. Hope u enjoy it ^^

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hi to all the sttaff of coffee prince!!!!!!!! specially to yoon eun hye and handsome gong yu.... i am camille of bulacan,philippines. i am one of your million fans, i just want to say that i really love the story of coffee prince. sometimes i imagining that maybe this story will happen in real life, in my life, hehehe... i will wait for your next story/loveteam.... mahal ko kayo!!!!!!!! it means ''i love you all'' in philippine langguage..

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Are you gonna do summaries for each ep? Please???

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I just like the whole twist to the plot, but I cant see how there could be a girl like GEC in the real world korea. I mean GY kept calleing her a rascal when he thought that she was a crazzy out-of-control teenge BOY!
And the women in Korea SOOOooo do not act like that.

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...gs2 m blik pha yan nho....happy sya......

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waw filmny krenzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz abizzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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I did watch a few episodes of coffee prince on Malaysian TV some time ago. Was wondering if you could air it on youtube for all of us to see again? Hopefully with English subtitles cos I dont read Chinese. Thanks

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ghostboy25 uploaded all episodes of coffee prince in youtube with english sub.
i watch them whenever i feel like visiting the story of Hyan Kyul and eun chan all over again.. :-)

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wow....
reminiscing CP..
I REMEMBER HOW CP started..
AND Now its more than a year
still i love it!
it really became a sucessful drama!
congratulations coffee prince!
really the best drama!

still hoping for a second shop!!!!!
but missing LEE EON!...

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For those of you who want to see the location of Coffee Prince and Han Kyul's rooftop house, I had it marked on Google Map and Google Earth. If you don't have Google Earth, here's a link where you can also see it:
http://www.panoramio.com/tags/

Once you're at panoramio, type "coffee prince" in the find tag text box. Then click on the photos and it will show the map. You will probably have to click the "+" to zoom in for a good view.

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hey. can you teach me how to put a player like that in my site or blog? please.

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yoon eun hye çok güzel ona hayranım çok yakında korea ya gelicem ve onu görücem

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I love coffee princeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!!!!!!!!

:DDDDD

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when you miss a dream this is what your recaps are for a nice refresher without having to watch which i want to do again

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coffee prince is totally cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it only means that all of us deserve to have someone who will love us............even though, what we are or who we are... the important is you know how to love, not only physical but also inside!!!! hope 2 have cp again. . so mny people will inspire again!!! LUVIAHHH!

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ow i ddnt saw that coffee prince Y_Y... but i know it rocks
i love you yoon eun hye forever
princess janelle i love you ^^ mwah

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can anyone explain the bun with the flower note that han sung finds in his mailbox? who is it from? or is it something that eun chan has delivered? i'm so puzzled by this!

by the way, i totally agree. i was much more into han sung the whole series and lovelovelove the song he sings on the soundtrack, because he is so cute and has that seriously comforting voice. *sigh*

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I just finished watching the "first cup" of this episode. Yeah, I think that's really cute, too. I know I'm WAY late on this drama, but forgive me, it's only my second K-Drama ever! (Boys Over Flowers being the first.)

I haven't decided what I think of this yet, but I do have a few observations on it. First of all, this is only my second K-Drama ever, but I, too noticed the cliches! Were Eun Chan and Jan Di separated at birth or something? *lol* Also, why do I always have an urge to smack the lead character's parents in the mouth? Finally, this show does remind me of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" not my most favorite play by the Bard, but one the top one's in my book!

I will definitely continue to watch this drama. Thanks, Javabeans for your recaps! They make my intro in K-Dramas much more interesting!

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hi,add me this is my friendster; [email protected]

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la serie esta super bien porque el amor tiene que ser tan duro por que la distincion de sexo todos tiene derchoe de amar

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lol I think eun chan has more of a backbone than JanDi (replying to a previous comment) Seriously, Coffee Prince is one of THE best dramas ever. BOF is not in my top 3 cus the actress did not have a backbone, unlike the japanese version. If JanDi didn't cry so much it would have easily kicked Hana Kimi out of my top 3 list.

Coffee prince is a very rewatchable show cus it is fun and it reminds me of the thoughts I had back when I watched it the first time. How girls would struggle with liking 2 guys at once, lying selfishly to protect herself, yearn to be independent and leave her bf for a while to find her own success first. Plus the nice supporting characters that have a story of their own and are not just there to be clowns/angels/demons to make the main char's story more interesting.

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(sigh)... I miss this drama so much!!

I miss Gong Yoo..

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me parecia bien chido soy de PERÚ es lo mejor igual que mi adorable san soon
me encanta quiero que de denuevoen la tv peruana
es muy chido super les dejo mi email:[email protected]

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quiero concer a eun chan
me facina su actuación con ese personaje le queda perfecto en realidad quiero conocer a todos los personajes

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I love them allll.....

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yoon Eun Hye is playing the same kind of role as in her previous drama Princess hours cause she will have to go out w/ a guy she doesn't like at first who has other feeling for another girl.

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I LOVE COFFE PRINCE

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i just re-watched the whole series of coffee prince & madly fall in love again with gong yoo. He has an very enchanting smile.

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"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." This made me laugh sooo hard because I just finished re-reading the recap of 'My Name is Kim Samsoon' :)

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uuuh we luvin it big tym...these korean flings r jus too nyc!!!

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im a late comer when it comes to kdramas. but now i've become addicted. but part of the whole experience that makes it more pleasant is reading the dramabeans recaps. i just love their style of writing.

as to the episode, lol. does eun chan really have to stare and stare and stare at han gyul's package? lol.

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I just read your summary and i must say it is really good! The way you explain it makes it so much more easier to understand! It is so detailed and very interesting that i could read it all over again! Haha thank you SO MUCH for this summary and for sure I'm going to read the rest of them!

P.S. I have also read your summaries on Boys Before/Over Flowers, Playful Kiss and Secret Garden

Aarosandra :D

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I am a late comer to Coffee Prince and just watched it this year. LOVE the series so much and the Han Kyul/Eun Chan pairing. Thanks for putting up such a detailed and thorough recap. I re-live the emotions in the show every time I read your recaps. I agree with javabeans - in this first episode I wasn't sure if I would like Han Kyul cuz he is a complete playboy with a bad boy charm in this episode. But by episode 2 he completely wins me over. And I start to bypass Han Sung afterwards.

Keep up the good workjavabeans!

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This isn't about coffe prince in particular, I just want to say how much I love your blog/website! In all honesty, as much as I want to watch all the episodes of every new K-Drama I start, these episodes can be soooo drawn out. But with your blog and your entertaining writing style I can just sit back, read the episode synopsis on my transit ride to and from work and enjoy the plot more. So thanks for all the time and hilarity you put into these episode summaries! Keep it going!!

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Does anyone know where I can get the OST?

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[…] imbc.com / Via dramabeans.com […]

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[…] school, it would love to go to barista school in Italy. Maybe I’m partial after watching Coffee Prince back in the day, or maybe I’m partial because I have that “Euro-philism” that a […]

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[…] - wikipedia, free, The 1st shop of coffee prince (rr: keopipeurinseu 1 hojeom ; also known as coffee prince) is a 2007 south korean television drama, starring yoon eun-hye, gong yoo.Caribou coffee, At […]

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Hilarious and sweet at the same time!A must-try kdrama :D

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I'm going voting crazy!

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OK - trying the star thing - such a good idea . . .

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