96°C Café

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96°C Café
96°C 咖啡
Genre Romance
Idol drama
Starring Tay Ping Hui
Desmond Tan
Julie Tan
Romeo Tan
Chris Tong
Ian Fang
Opening theme Webisode:
《咖啡恋》 by Teresa Tseng 曾咏霖
Episode:
《啡情歌》 by Wei En 薇恩
Country of origin Singapore
Original language(s) Chinese
No. of episodes 8 (webisode)
20 (episode)
Production
Running time approx. 45 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Mediacorp Channel 8
Picture format 16:9 Widescreen
Original run 29 April 2013 – 24 May 2013
Chronology
Preceded by Webisode:
Of Love & Hidden Charms
Episode:
Break Free
Followed by Webisode:
Get Social
Episode:
I'm in Charge
Related shows Poetic Justice (2012)
External links
Website
96°C Café
Traditional Chinese 96°C 咖啡
Simplified Chinese 96°C 咖啡

96°C Café (Chinese: 96°C 咖啡) is MediaCorp’s first transmedia project related to coffee and romance. It was broadcast from 29 April to 24 May 2013 on free-to-air channel MediaCorp Channel 8 and consists of 20 episodes. Prior to the drama serial, prequels of 2 webisodes each week were released on xinfirst's portal progressively, for a period of 4 weeks, Mondays from 18 February to 11 March 2013.

It was two of the lowest-rated drama series at 9pm, the other is Sudden.

Plot[edit]

Web Series Plot:

Nestled in a small lane in Singapore is a little-known café called 96°C Café. Former IT engineer, Liqiao, 28, a photography buff runs the café with his wife, Xijie, 27, a dessert chef.

Liqiao loves coffee, and is always the one brewing coffee behind the bar counter, leaving Xijie to hang out with the customers. Xijie, whose homemade tiramisu is a hit with customers, has a habit of reading by a small table next to the bar counter during quiet times. Although business is rarely thriving, there’s always a string of regular customers patronising the café and sharing their stories with Liqiao over a cup of coffee.

A day before Christmas, the couple was starting their day at 96°C Café when Xijie realised that she left her tiramisu at home. She then decided to head home to collect it while Liqiao stayed behind to manage 96°C Café. Time passed and just as Liqiao was wondering when Xijie would be back, he received a call from the hospital informing him that his wife was involved in an accident. A panicked Liqiao rushed to the hospital to find an unconscious Xijie. Doctors treating her said she was in a critical condition and advised Liqiao to prepare for the worst. Helpless, the agnostic Liqiao prayed for a miracle.

The next day, Liqiao, who spent the night at the hospital, was awakened by the sounds of footsteps. He went into Xijie’s room to find the doctors and nurses surrounding his wife. The doctor congratulated Liqiao of Xijie’s miraculous recovery and said she could be discharged immediately.

Incredulous but nonetheless happy, Liqiao brings Xijie home only to find her becoming withdrawn and exceedingly aloof towards him. She spends all her time making tiramisu, and refuses to step out of their home, let alone manage 96°C Café. Liqiao attributes her change to post-accident trauma, and did not mind as long as she's by his side.

Liqiao continues to run 96°C Café but Xijie no longer joins him and he always leaves the little table, Xijie's favourite, empty, in case she decides to come back to the café. Without helpers, Liqiao decides to put out a notice to hire staff.

Yuchen, 21, a Fine Arts student, comes to interview for a job at 96°C Café with the company of her friend, Shuting, 21. Shuting has a basic knowledge of coffee and Liqiao thinks she’s cut out for the job. However, it's Yuchen who wants the job and Liqiao, impressed with her enthusiasm, decides to hire her.

Yuchen starts work at 96°C Café. Shuting would tag along whenever she’s free, but never did she expect to develop a crush on someone at the café. Meanwhile, Yuchen keeps herself busy by trying to set up opportunities for Shuting and her “crush” whilst she tries to prove her worth to Liqiao. Unfortunately, Shuting’s fear of men prevents her from initiating the first move on her “crush” despite Yuchen’s constant help to pair them up.

Yuchen learns that Shuting’s arrhenphobia (fear of men) is due to her father’s over-protectiveness. Liqiao comes to know of Shuting’s problem through Yuchen, and makes her a cup of coffee using the Neapolitan Flip Pot. Through the coffee, he teaches Shuting about seeing things from a different perspective. Inspired, Shuting decides to put aside her prejudice and try to understand the opposite sex.

At the same time, Liqiao impresses Yuchen with his passion in running 96°C Café and the latter starts to see Liqiao, who had belittled her initially, in a different light.

Liqiao’s friendship with a regular customer, Pei Fen, 26, causes Yuchen to be jealous. Peifen, a DJ with a local radio station hosting a night time chat programme, has been a long-time regular customer of the café, and she was quick to realise the change in taste in the tiramisu ever since Xijie’s accident.

Pei Fen’s listeners would often ask her various questions about love even though she knows nothing about love. Never been through failure throughout her life, Peifen was not ready for love for fear of disappointments. All that, however, changes when deliveryman, Weida, 24, Yuchen’s suitor, caught her attention. Curious about Weida’s relentless pursuit of Yuchen despite her countless rejections, Pei Fen is determined to find out why.

One day, Peifen finds the phone that Weida leaves behind at 96°C Café, and in return for her help, Weida agrees to be interviewed by Pei Fen for a day. During the interview, Pei Fen finds it difficult to understand Weida’s courage in love. Then Liqiao steps in to explain the metaphor of waiting and giving in love – “One would never know the real outcome if one never gave or acted on something, and even if one failed at the end of the day, the process of giving was already a gain.”

Yuchen finds herself admiring Liqiao for his wisdom but did not realise that Liqiao is struggling to resolve his own problem with Xijie, who’s been locking herself out of his life.

Together with Liqiao’s dedication and Yuchen’s assistance, business at the café soon picked up, but Liqiao accidentally injures his arm and affected his ability to prepare hand-brewed coffee. Not wanting to disappoint the customers, the thoughtful Yuchen decides to learn the art of manual coffee brewing from Liqiao.

Learning the task was a tall order but Yuchen never gave up, staying back after work hours to master her skills, and she wonders if her perseverance was a result of her love for coffee or something else…

What will happen to 96°C Café, and what will become of Liqiao, Yuchen & Xi Jie?


Drama Series Plot:

Xu Liqiao was a cheerful young man full of ideals, aspirations and dreams. Together with his beloved wife Luo Xijie, they conceptualised 96oC Café. They nurture the café and their relationship with tender loving care. Sadly, Liqiao is hurt in love and can no longer pursue his dream nor brew the signature coffee of 96oC Café. Devastated by career and love, he turns morose and demoralised. This causes distress to Xu Ruolin, his elder sister, and his paternal grandmother who raised him single-handedly.

Tang Yuchen who has been secretly in love with Liqiao, chooses to remain by his side despite what happened. Unable to bear the sight of his idol wallowing in misery, she decides to lift him out of his grief, and help him regain his confidence and laughter.

Chuanzhi is a regular customer of 96oC Café. In Yuchen’s eyes, he is nothing but an unproductive online addict of the strawberry generation. Chuanzhi has no money to pay for his coffees, so he had to accept Yuchen’s arrangement to work in 96oC Café in order to clear his debts.

Chuanzhi comes from a well-to-do family. His mother is confined to bed due to an accident however, his father, Liu Haoren could not overcome loneliness and starts to develop an affair with his colleague, Ann. Chuanzhi unable to accept the situation, conflicts with his father and runs away from home.

In the process of working with Yuchen, Chuangzhi discovers that he has fallen for her. Well aware that Liqiao has started to accept Yuchen’s love, he decides to hide his love for Yuchen and quietly watches over her.

Luo Xijie’s younger sister Luo Wenjie returns from abroad, the impetuous Wenjie is adamant that Yuchen is the third party who separated her sister and brother-in-law. Therefore, she goes all out to destroy their relationship. As a result of Wenjie’s actions, Yuchen is exhausted by her relationship with Liqiao thus decides to leave.

Xu Ruolin is Liqiao’s elder sister. She is a modern highly-educated single with high income who has no expectations in life, lives conservatively, does not exercise flexibility and behaves nonchalantly. Not only has Ruolin’s career remained static for over a decade, even her relationship with her boyfriend Bill, a lawyer, is monotonously maintained for over 10 years. It is only on the eve of their decision to get married that Bill leaves her in the lurch. Bill’s action lands his best friend Lao Jingfeng into trouble because the latter was the messenger who delivered the letter to end the relationship. Poor Jingfeng is harassed by Ruolin who resents him.

Lao Jingfeng, a general practitioner, is Tang San’s adopted son and Yuchen’s god-brother. He is good-looking, dresses well, has a sharp tongue, speaks fast and mercilessly like a machine gun. He and Ruolin seem to be born enemies for they are always at loggerheads with each other. Several of his relationships have been ruined by Ruolin unintentionally. Their relationship becomes increasingly intense and because of this, sparks fly between them and steadily, love blossoms. But then, a third party, Tang Weida appears at this juncture.

Weida is Yuchen’s elder brother. Weida and Yuchen are as different as chalk and cheese. He lives up to his name of weida or “noble”, being simple-minded, foolish and honest and is frequently taken advantage of by his friends and other people

Weida’s father Tang San hopes that he will settle down quickly but Weida develops a relationship with Ruolin unexpectedly. For Ruolin, Weida does not regard Tangsan’s objection and prepares to engage in a duel of death over love against Lao Jingfeng as well.

Apart from dreams, laughter and joy, everyone’s life and family are bound to encounter helplessness, setbacks, troubles, disappointment and the unexpected. These experiences are scored into little episodes in one’s life that are unfolded in 96oC Café. Finally, a cup of 96oC coffee stimulates a deep awakening and closes the chapter.

Cast[edit]

Cast Character Description Webisodes appeared Episodes appeared
Tay Ping Hui Lao Jing Feng 劳敬丰 Godbrother of Wei Da and Yu Chen, Pei Fen's ex-boyfriend (Age 37) 1-20
Desmond Tan Xu Liqiao 徐立乔 Boss of 96°C Café, Xi Jie's husband. Ruo Lin's younger brother. In love with Yu Chen after Xi Jie's death. (Age 28) 1-8 1-20
Julie Tan Tang Yu Chen 唐雨晨 Staff of 96°C Café. Wei Da's younger sister. (Age 21) 1-8 1-20
Romeo Tan Tang Wei Da 唐伟大 Yu Chen's elder brother, in love with Ruo Lin. (Age 29) 2-20
Chris Tong Xu Ruo Lin 徐若琳 Li Qiao's elder sister, Bill's ex-girlfriend. (Age 35) 1-20
Ian Fang Liu Chuan Zhi 刘传之 Staff at 96°C Café, Liu Hao Ren's son, in love with Yuchen. (Age 25) 1-20
Jayley Woo Luo Wen Jie 洛文洁 Xi Jie's younger sister (Age 20) 11-20
Jin Yinji Grandma Xu 徐奶奶 Ruo Lin and Li Qiao's grandma (Age 70) 1-19
Zhu Houren Ren Tang San 仁唐三 Wei Da and Yu Chen's father (Age 57) 1-20
Lin Peifen Herself YES 93.3 FM DJ, a regular customer of 96°C Café. Jing Feng's ex-girlfriend. (Age 26) 1, 4-6 6-10
Wang Yuqing Liu Hao Ren 刘浩仁 Chuan Zhi's Father (Age 53) 2-20
Adam Chen Bill Ex-boyfriend of Ruolin (Age 36) 1, 2, 3, 4, 17, 18
Tracy Lee Tara Lao Jinfeng's patient, ex-singer. (Age 27) 2-20
Cynthia Koh Ann Mistress of Liu Hao Ren (Age 32) 1-19
Zhang Zhenhuan Wei Da 威达 A deliveryman. (Age 24) 4, 5, 7, 8
Paige Chua Luo Xi Jie 洛曦洁 Li Qiao’s wife who died in a car accident. Wen Jie's elder sister. (Age 27) 1, 3-4, 6, 8 1, 16
Chantelle Ng Lin Shuting 林舒亭 Yuchen's friend. Suffers arrhenphobia (fear of men) (Age 21) 1-3, 6-8
James Seah Ziwei 子维 A regular patron of 96°C Café, Shu Ting’s senior. (Age 23) 2, 3, 8

Overseas broadcast[edit]

This would be the third Singaporean drama after the Unriddle series to be telecast on ntv7's primetime slot.

Country of Broadcast Broadcasting Network Premiere Finale Preceded by Followed by
 Malaysia ntv7 26 August 2013 at 9.30 pm, Mondays to Thursdays 26 September 2013 The Undercover TBA
 Indonesia MediaCorp 8i 21 August 2013 at 7.00 pm, Mondays to Fridays 17 September 2013 I'm in Charge
 Thailand Thairath TV 28 April 2014 at 9.00 am, Mondays to Wednesdays - 2014 TBA

Star Awards Accolades[edit]

96°C Café garnered 4 nominations for 3 awards in the Star Awards, for Best Theme Song, Best Drama Serial and London Choco Roll Happiness Award.

Nominee / Work Award Accolade Result
《啡情歌》 sung by Wei En 薇恩 Star Awards 20 Show 1
红星大奖20
Best Theme Song
最佳主题曲
Nominated
96°C Café 96°C 咖啡 Star Awards 20 Show 2
红星大奖20
Best Drama Serial
最佳电视剧
Nominated
Julie Tan 陈欣淇 London Choco Roll Happiness Award
最佳戏剧开心果奖
Nominated
Romeo Tan 陈罗密欧 Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]