Drama Recaps
Novel Notes: Coffee Prince Chapter 2
by | July 19, 2007 | 26 Comments


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I’m about a quarter of the way through the novel (100 pages) and we’re still on the events of the drama’s episode 1. I draw two conclusions from this: (1) It always takes a bit of time setting up a story, and things will probably speed up much more once the ball gets rolling, and (2) I’m actually happy at the prospect that perhaps this means the drama cannot be exactly like the novel, since it will run out of material. I’m all for preserving the integrity of source material, but blow-by-blow accounts have the potential to be painfully boring. And, it’ll enable me to keep up the excitement of not knowing what’s going to happen in the drama, because there will be things that are not in the book.

So far, though, there isn’t much that contradicts what we know from the drama series, so most of this introductory stuff just rounds out what we already know with a little more depth. There are minor discrepancies in the story, but the general characterizations have remained intact..

(By the way, I’ve sorted all novel-related posts with a separate tag, in case there are people who want to sort out the Coffee Prince drama from the Coffee Prince novel posts.)

First backing up a little:

In the PROLOGUE, Dandy Boy Han Gyul strolls into the rundown Coffee Prince to inform Mr. Hong he’s the new owner who’d bought the cafe. He’s well-dressed and arrogant, and Mr. Hong finds him insufferably rude, but serves him anyway. Eun Chan bursts in looking for her sister, who’s ditched classes yet again, probably to go on yet another singing audition.

Eun Chan reads the hiring notice posted (specifications sent in advance by Han Gyul) and laughs at the ridiculous requirements (good looking, popular with the ladies, single, tall…) but also notes she’s perfect for the job. Oh yeah, except she’s not male. But most people think she is, so she doesn’t let that change her mind. She’s shocked to hear Mr. Hong tell her he sold the cafe.

In CHAPTER 1, titled “ONE MONTH PRIOR, EUN CHAN’S 25th HOUR,” we’re introduced to Eun Chan’s family, her role as a Taekwondo instructor, and the other people in her life like Mr. Gu the butcher (and frustrated poet) and Mr. Hong.

We already know Eun Chan loves to eat, but I like little tidbits that show us a little more detail. For instance:

Her young Taekwondo students order pizza to eat in the studio after class, and invite Eun Chan to partake. However, when the pizza delivery arrives, Eun Chan feels embarrassed at letting the young kids pay for the meal (which they ordered when she wasn’t around), but at the same time doesn’t have money to spare, and pretends to be busy while the kids pay. Then, although she’s dying to eat up right away, she resists because if she didn’t pay, it would be kind of inappropriate for her to dive in, even though her student doesn’t mind sharing.

“The instructor did have pride. Eun Chan deliberately fussed around on her desktop. However, she could only hold out a few seconds, because of the pizza smell wafting through the air. On top of that, the children ate with such smacking sounds, she thought her ears would start drooling.


Seung Kyung took up a large slice and held it out to her. Ah, such a pretty little thing.”

Then, called away by Eun Sae (requesting the aid of her”oppa” to deal with an annoying, uncouth guy, Min Yub), Eun Chan arrives to engage in her jajangmyung-eating showdown with Min Yub:

“She ate with her face practically buried in the bowl, but her mouth remained undirtied. Eun Chan felt it would have been a waste of the jajang sauce to leave any on her face.”

Coming home, Eun Chan’s appetite is still unsatisfied and she digs around for some of her mother’s cooking — Eun Chan’s mother is a good cook of Western cuisine, particularly Italian (and she has a keen sense of smell). Eun Chan’s only complaint is that the portions are too small. Things come to a panicked halt when Eun Chan’s mother realizes she’s lost an expensive diamond ring borrowed from a friend. Crap.


In Chapter 2, we first meet Han Gyul, who’s just returned to Korea after spending the past few years in the States. Almost immediately, he avoids his family, which also includes a dutiful older (married) brother who’s gone into the family company.

Han Gyul has a bit of a distant relationship with Han Sung, although it’s not necessarily bad:

“Of all of Han Gyul’s cousins, he was most comfortable with Han Sung. He was also the one with whom he would’ve been furthest apart, but he wasn’t prickly or awkward with him. … In a phrase, they were both the type who could be friends even as they fought.”

Instead of a strong-willed granny, however, Han Gyul is mostly at odds with his extremely demanding father. This time, the ultimatum his father delivers is to either enter the family company or get married. Han Gyul doesn’t want to enter the company:”It was scary and he disliked it. He had no desire to run onto that brutal, isolating, and harsh battle turf.” His mother delivers the order and gives him a day to decide which it’ll be: work for his father, or get married.

“He saw no escape. … The company or marriage? Why don’t they just tell him to die instead, dammit!”

/end Chapter 2

As for spoilers, some people may want me to skip to the back and tell them what happens, but sorry! I don’t do spoilers. If I’m just lukewarm about something (most dramas), I won’t mind spoilers, but when I do like something a lot (Harry Potter — lalalalala I’m not listening), I’m a complete spoilerphobe. Sometimes I even avoid watching the short previews at the end of an episode because I want to be completely surprised.

What I can offer, meager though it may be, are the rest of the chapter titles.

Chapter 3: “Isn’t this a scammer’s set-up?”
Chapter 4: “What happened in Room S11”
Chapter 5: “Can’t disappoint the witch”
Chapter 6: “Would you like some bubble wrap?”
Chapter 7: “Good dogs don’t rebel”
Chapter 8: “Espresso — coffee that gives me the courage to stand up to the boss”
Chapter 9: “There’s no Vienna coffee in Vienna”
Chapter 10: “Lemon coffee for a hangover”
Chapter 11: “Our store has changed this much”
Chapter 12: “Resistance with a reason”
Chapter 13: “Happy to be a woman”
Chapter 14: “Soft and warm, cafe latte”
Chapter 15: “Marine boy”
Chapter 16: “Love is a secret that can’t be hidden”
Chapter 17: “An unknown girl”
Chapter 18: “Dazzling memories bring me pain”
Chapter 19: “That day”
Chapter 20: “Loving You”

26 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. trish

    hehe that’s so interesting! i was addicted to your summaries before i started watching the show.
    now the book itself proved interesting. 🙂 as much as i want to know th ending, i hope the drama would differ slightly from the book and give the audience a surprise. 🙂
    yoon eunhye is seriously a dedicated gifted actress.
    thanks for your hard work!

  2. Ubo

    Too bad there’s no English version of the book? Anyway, I was waiting for more going-ons from the book. Spoilers? Absolutely love them for this drama especially when its taken from a book. Harry Potter? Sorry, I’m more into “LOST” spoilers. Luckily all my favourite US TVs are on extended breaks (Gee, luckily there’s Kdramas to fill up the other half of the year) or I’ll be like “why don’t someone add more hours to the day” as well.
    Thanks once again.

    P.S. An off-topic request. I’m looking around for Korean internet radio stations. Can you recommend a few with easy-listening korean songs, preferably with lots of female djs with sexy voices. 🙂

  3. winnie

    i have a questoin. the tiltle is called the 25th hour and i understand there are only 24 hours, but does that stand for something in korean?

  4. Bamidele

    You are so killing me, with no spoilers but I respect you too much to complain. Thanks for Ch.2, it must be a big book with 20 chapters. If only it was in English!!

  5. Deedlith

    Oh My!! No Spoiler???
    I don’t know how you can bear waiting for what happens… I’m the kind who read the ten last pages of a book I’ve just received and then starts at the beginning. Others may find it spoils the fun, but actually I do think that what happens inside is more interesting than the end, but I still need to know the end to not go too crazy while reading. I tried reading Harry Potter the 6th without beginning at the end and I only managed to bear the first 100pages… My hands were trembling in excitement and my heart was racing ( this is what I feel when I watch a goood drama too^^). Anyway it was real torture.
    Since I’m not reading the book and watching the drama it’s bearable though.
    Interesting review ^^ By curiosity, you didn’t told us how many pages there is to the book… I wish you could tell us if it doesn’t bother you…

  6. jenny

    not that im upset or mad or anything…i LOVE your blog! i just wanted to let you know that ever since you transferred to dramabeans.com i get error 500 – internal server error often..maybe you can fix that somehow..whenver i get that i refresh the page several times or wait a minute or two and then your site works again..just wanted to let you knoww. just to say again. i LOVE AND REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORT, POSTS AND COMMENTARY ON THIS BLOG especially for Flowers for my life, Air City, Bad Couple, Dalja’s Spring and Coffee prince! Im excited and anxious for Bad Couple’s ending. eeks for Dangja…wish her and baby survives *crosses fingers* and since flowers for my life and air city ended and bad couples coming to an end..i cant wait for when you start a new dramaaa 😀

  7. catinmyfridge

    Thanks for the info. Only 100 pages for the novel? ‘Seems like the show will go 20 EP’s since it’s getting good ratings. The writers for this show are pretty good. So, I guess I have to trust them. I wonder if Hollywood would pick up the novel and do their own movie version?

  8. javabeans

    Deedlith and catinyourfridge, sorry, I meant that I’m a quarter of the way through the novel, having read 100 pages of its 400.

    jenny, trust me you’re not the only one frustrated with the error messages! i’m working on a fix. the host assures me they’re either working on it or have already fixed it. they have told me this four times separately so i’m not convinced they’re right yet. siiiigh. still, i will remain calm and zen and think of all the lovely little happy things that i can do on my own site that i couldn’t on the previous wordpress.com site. (hint hint: i’m working on adding a few more goodies. 😉 when i have more time that is. anyone working on making me more hours in a day?)

  9. Philippa

    Thanks a lot!

  10. 10 secret admirer

    It is really refreshing to see that the series is just BASED on the novel and not ABOUT the novel. You can see that the scriptwriters did incorporate many aspects about the characters into the show but gave them a different spin: pizza, jajangmyung, lost ring, EC’s huge appetite,etc… although we have not seen any friction between Han Gyul and Han Sung (yet).

    Twenty chapters, 400 pages novel? Better be lots of character developments and a great ending cause you can’t get those hours back. Thanks for allowing us non-Koreans to have a sneak look. Chapter 19: what happened “That Day”? My curiosity is killing me!

    Lastly, javabeans… you LIKE Harry Potter? i’ll try not to spoil it for you when i get my hands on the last book! (OR maybe you do want to know?).

  11. 11 safinsgirl

    hello dramabeans!

    love ur blog but this is my first time to post. Just wanted to say that you’ve helped a lot of k-drama addicts (esp. those who are not koreans) understand what is happening in some of the series. Luv coffee prince and I’m happy to say that I’m one of the addicts always visiting your blog. Btw you said that we can download your songs and I luv luv your songs that you put in your blog. I know this is a terrible question but how can I download your songs…sorry I’m not really good at computer stuff. Please do help. Thanks a lot!!!

  12. 12 g monsanto

    lovin’ the series, thanks again for the recaps..
    ~safinsgirl, just go to the post of the topic where the song is and right click (to your mouse) the title of the song (underlined) then select Save target as…~

  13. 13 Mimi

    Wahhh!!A Big Thanks for sharing with us!!I felt deeply in love with your website since I met it for the first time for the with Dal Ja’s Spring!!XD But I think I went on your website before that!Just want to thank you and to tell you to keep on doing it for all the Non-Korean speakers!! Kamsahamnida!!

  14. 14 safinsgirl

    g monsanto 🙂 thanks a lot!!! so excited for monday and tuesday!!! can’t wait!!!
    thanks again javabeans for sharing with us some of the of the parts of the Novel

  15. 15 MelodicMidget

    I don’t know if any of you know this, but someone on the xanga site has taken the time to start translating the book from Korean into English. The Prologue and the First Chapter have already been translated as well as the back cover. So I am alternating between this site and the xanga site to learn more about the novel since I can’t read and understand Korean just enough yet.

  16. 16 Vjah

    Wow!! My head is already spinning with this overwhelming goodies and there’s more?!!!Really really love it!!! Thanks so much. My week is not so boring anymore.

  17. 17 Brnice

    Thanks so much for the translations (I must have been responsible for at least 50 of the 14000 hits , since everytime I was bored I came and re-re-read the recap, wondering what was going to happen…); and I’m very curious about the book, so again, thanks !

    MelodicMidget : do you have a specific URL for those online translations ? Thanx !

  18. 18 ktv

    Thanks for your lovely introduction. I love your blog actually. I could not wait for the next episode of Coffee Prince. It’s so funny and interesting to watch. Btw, how can I download the music from your site. Is it only possible to listen online to the music on your website? Is there any way that I could download the music? I really love some of the songs. However, I could not find it on the internet. Could you help me plz? Thank you so much, Javabeans. Keep up your good job.

  19. 19 fishsoup

    Brnice –

    I did a search on Xanga, and I found the website that MelodicMidget was referring to; it’s


    hope this helps! 🙂

  20. 20 Brnice

    Thanks a bunch, fishsoup ! 😀

  21. 21 Deedlith

    Same here!

  22. 22 Deedlith

    Ah sorry Javabeans to flood your post, but you made me want to read it as well. And it’s good training for me too, at least I won’t have to bother concentrating myself on what they’re saying since all I’ll have to do is to read… Could you tell me where you ordered the book?

  23. 23 yakatoo

    nice, pretty exciting stuff! can’t wait for the next chaters! thanks super! 😀

  24. 24 Phuong

    You rock my days with all your posts on Coffee prince novel and drama…
    I love love love you ^____^
    Plz keep posting and treat us more great coffee, okie?

  25. 25 coffeewhore

    Ha, I hate spoilers too 🙂 I’m glad I found this site, so much to look at and read. This is wonderful and thanks for putting aside some time to post all this 🙂

  26. 26 psychoanalyst

    my birthday. 🙂 nice post btw.

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