The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince

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The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince
Coffee Prince.jpg
Promotional poster for The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince
Also known as 'Coffee Prince'
Based on The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince
by Lee Sun-mi
Written by
  • Lee Jung-ah
  • Jang Hyun-joo
Directed by Lee Yoon-jung
Opening theme "Lalala, It's Love!" by The Melody
Ending theme "Go Go Chan!!" by Tearliner feat. Yozoh
Composer(s) Tearliner
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 17
Producer(s) Lee Eun-kyu
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 60 minutes
Original network Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format HDTV
Audio format Surround sound
Original release July 2 (2007-07-02) – August 28, 2007 (2007-08-28)
Related shows Coffee Prince (Philippine remake)
External links
Korean name
Hangul 커피프린스 1호점
Hanja 커피프린스 1號店
Revised Romanization Keopipeurinseu 1 Hojeom
McCune–Reischauer K'ŏp'ip'ŭrinsŭ 1 Hochŏm

The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (Hangul커피프린스 1호점; RRKeopipeurinseu 1 Hojeom; also known as Coffee Prince) is a 2007 South Korean television drama, starring Yoon Eun-hye, Gong Yoo, Lee Sun-kyun, and Chae Jung-an. Based on the novel of the same name written by Lee Sun-mi, the hit series aired on MBC from July 2 to August 28, 2007 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 17 episodes.[1]

The drama is an unlikely romance between a tomboyish woman, who dresses like a man in order to get work, and a young food empire mogul. It contains homoerotic elements, because the man does not initially know of the tomboy's true sex.[2]


The exterior of The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince in Hongdae, Mapo-gu, Seoul in 2012

Choi Han-kyul (Gong Yoo) is a third generation scion of a food chaebol. He has never had a job and does not care for responsibility. Han-kyul is hung up on his first love, Han Yoo-joo (Chae Jung-an), who was never interested in dating, so they never officially went out. On the other hand, Go Eun-chan (Yoon Eun-hye) is a 24-year-old tomboy who is often mistaken for a guy. Her father died when she was 16 years old and since then she has taken over as the breadwinner in her family. She has the responsibility of taking care of her childish, spendthrift mother and trouble-making younger sister, so Eun-chan takes up every job possible: taekwondo teacher, waitress, and food delivery. When Han-kyul and Eun-chan meet, he, not knowing that she is a girl, decides to hire her to pretend to be his gay lover so that he can escape the blind dates arranged by his grandmother.

Meanwhile, Han-kyul's cousin, Choi Han-sung (Lee Sun-kyun), is an established music producer and his ex-girlfriend is Yoo-joo, now an artist who studied in New York. The two were lovers for about 8 years, but their relationship ended when Yoo-joo left Han-sung for another man by the name of DK. Two years after they separate, their paths cross again when she returns to Seoul. Han-sung is initially angry at her, but he succumbs to his lingering feelings and they start to date again.

After getting an ultimatum from his grandmother, Han-kyul takes over a rundown old coffee shop, later renamed "Coffee Prince," to prove that he's capable, both to his grandmother and to Yoo-joo. In order to attract female customers, he only hires good-looking male employees. Eun-chan, desperate for money, continues to hide her gender to get a job at Coffee Prince.

Eun-chan also become friends with Han-sung, and she is initially attracted to him because of his kindness. Han-sung also enjoys spending time with her, and an impulsive kiss that he gives her causes him and Yoo-joo to break up for a short time.

Soon, feelings start to develop between Eun-chan and Han-kyul. Because he's unaware that she is a woman, he starts to question his sexuality and is thrown into turmoil. When he discovers her secret, he feels hurt and betrayed. However, he eventually forgives her and they begin to date. They face strong opposition from his family due to her family’s lower status, but when Han-kyul's grandmother meets Eun-chan, she is impressed by her independence and ambition. She helps pay for Eun-chan to study in Italy to become a barista. After two years of a long-distance relationship, a more stylish Eun-chan returns to Korea and Han-kyul.


Eun-chan is a cheerful girl who supports her family by working two jobs; as Taekwondo instructor and food delivering girl. Sporting a short haircut, Eun-chan looks like a guy instead of a girl.[6]

Han-kyul is the grandson of chairwoman Bang of Dongin Foods, a company that has a thriving coffee business. He is a smart young man but is fiercely independent and abhors the thought of being tied down by one career in his life.[7]


Filming locations[edit]

The interior of The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince featuring the wall flowers painting
The service counter of The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince
Window art of The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince

Many of the scenes filmed on location in Seoul are as follows:[8]

  • The 1st shop of Coffee Prince was an old coffee shop in Hongdae area, that was remodeled for the filming. The eponymous cafe was reopened after filming concluded with the wall flowers painting by Han Yoo-joo and other props from the drama on display.
  • Seoul Animation Center at the foot of Namsan in Yejang-dong, Jung-gu: The roof top was used as the exterior terrace of Choi Han-kyul's house.
  • Yeonhui Matgil (or Yeonhee Street of Flavors), Yeomni-dong in Mapo-gu: the location of the Chinese restaurant where Han-kyul and Eun-chan ate.
  • The jogging course at Palgakjeong on the Bugak Skyway, Pyeongchang-dong, Jongno-gu: Where Han-kyul goes jogging; and where he met Yoo-joo and Eun-chan who brought competing packed meals for him.
  • The interior and exterior of the Gwanghwamun branch of Kyobo Book Centre: Where Han-kyul buys books on coffee to encourage Eun-chan to become a barista.
  • Hongdae Playground (or Hongik Children's Park) in Hongdae area: Where Han-kyul bought Yoo-joo a hat from a street vendor (along Wausan-ro between the playground and Hongik University).
  • Stone wall road between Duksung Girls High School and Pungmoon Girls High School, across the road from the start of Insa-dong Street that runs from Insa-dong to Samcheong-dong in Jongno-gu: Where Han-kyul helped Eun-chan in the rain, when she encounters a bully on her way home while carrying bags of dolls for sewing work.

In 2011, Hongdae area and the coffee shop were featured in a National Geographic Channel-produced documentary on the Korean Wave titled Seoul's Got Soul.[9]

Episode ratings[edit]

Date Episode Nationwide Seoul
2007-07-02 1 14.4% (7th) 15.5% (7th)
2007-07-03 2 15.3% (7th) 16.2% (7th)
2007-07-09 3 18.1% (6th) 18.6% (5th)
2007-07-10 4 19.0% (4th) 19.8% (4th)
2007-07-16 5 19.3% (3rd) 20.1% (2nd)
2007-07-17 6 23.2% (2nd) 23.9% (2nd)
2007-07-23 7 25.2% (2nd) 25.3% (2nd)
2007-07-24 8 26.8% (2nd) 28.1% (2nd)
2007-07-30 9 25.2% (2nd) 26.2% (2nd)
2007-07-31 10 25.9% (2nd) 27.3% (2nd)
2007-08-06 11 28.4% (2nd) 30.8% (1st)
2007-08-07 12 29.9% (2nd) 31.4% (2nd)
2007-08-13 13 29.3% (2nd) 32.1% (2nd)
2007-08-14 14 28.1% (2nd) 30.5% (2nd)
2007-08-20 15 27.1% (2nd) 29.0% (2nd)
2007-08-21 16 28.5% (2nd) 30.8% (1st)
2007-08-27 17 27.7% (2nd) 29.5% (2nd)
Average 24.2% 25.6%

Source: TNS Media Korea

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1st Korea Drama Awards
Most Popular Actor Kim Dong-wook Won
Kim Jae-wook Won
Lee Eon Won
Lee Han-wi Won
MBC Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actress Yoon Eun-hye Won
Excellence Award, Actor Gong Yoo Won
Lee Sun-kyun Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress Chae Jung-an Nominated
Best New Actor Lee Eon Nominated
PD Award Kim Chang-wan Won
Viewer's Favorite Drama of the Year The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince Nominated
Popularity Award, Actor Gong Yoo Nominated
Popularity Award, Actress Yoon Eun-hye Nominated
Best Couple Award Yoon Eun-hye and Gong Yoo Nominated
Chae Jung-an and Lee Sun-kyun Nominated
44th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best Drama The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince Nominated
Best Actress (TV) Yoon Eun-hye Won
Best New Director (TV) Lee Yoon-jung Won
Best Screenplay (TV) Lee Jung-ah, Jang Hyun-joo Nominated
20th Korea PD Awards
Best Drama The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince Won

Original soundtrack[edit]

Album Track listing
The 1st Shop Of Coffee Prince OST
  • Released: July 26, 2007
  • Artist: Various artists
  • Format: 1CD
  • Label: Pony Canyon Korea
Soundtrack from The 1st Shop Of Coffee Prince
  • Released: September 14, 2007
  • Artist: Various artists
  • Music compiled and selected by Tearliner
  • Format: 2CD
  • Label: Pastel Music

International broadcasts[edit]

It aired in Japan on Fuji TV beginning August 11, 2010 as part of the network's "Hallyu Alpha Summer Festival."[10]

It aired in the Philippines on GMA Network from January 1 to March 19, 2008, and received high ratings during its run.[11] The series will be aired on TeleAsia Chinese. In 2010 the series aired with English subtitles on Animax Asia.

The series reaired in the Philippines on GMA News TV from September 19 to October 14, 2016 at 11:00pm, replacing King of Ambition.

The series aired in Malaysia in 2010 on Animax Asia with English subtitles.[12]

It aired in the Middle East on MBC 4 beginning December 8, 2013, dubbed as Makha al amir.

Dubbed in Tamil and aired in India on Puthuyugam TV beginning October 2014.

It aired in Thailand on Channel 7 beginning April 19, 2008.[13]

It is currently airing in Chile on ETC (Chilean TV channel) beginning September 2016.


In 2012, the TV series was remade in Thailand,[14] and the Philippines.[15]


  1. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (August 29, 2007). "Drama Offers Hot Trends, Aromatic Tale". The Korea Times. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ Lee, Sooin; Nahm, Sooyeon (September 13, 2010). "Drama reveals changing attitudes about homosexuality". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "I Try My Best to Be Eun-chan". The Dong-a Ilbo. July 26, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Interview with Yoon Eun-hye (June 27, 2007), who played the role of Koh Eun-chan in Coffee Prince". MBC Global Media. February 19, 2008. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Yoon Eun-hye Goes From Girl Group to Boy Actor". The Chosun Ilbo. August 8, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ Coffee Prince Ep. 1-17 Plot Synopsis. Retrieved on December 29, 2015
  7. ^ Coffee Prince Ep. 1-17 Plot Synopsis. Retrieved on December 29, 2015
  8. ^ "The First Shop Of Coffee Prince". Korea Tourism Organization. Korean TV Drama. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Seoul's Got Soul Coming to A Country Near You". The Chosun Ilbo. June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  10. ^ Hong, Lucia (August 20, 2010). "Gong Yoo to promote Coffee Prince in Japan". 10Asia. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  11. ^ Santiago, Erwin (January 25, 2008). "TV Ratings (Jan. 22-24): Coffee Prince and Lastikman moving up". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "TV Ratings (Jan. 22-24): Coffee Prince and Lastikman moving up". August 18, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2013.  Thai: ภาษาไทย
  14. ^ "Brewing up a rich drama". Bangkok Post. June 22, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Kris Bernal and Aljur Abrenica's Coffee Prince becomes trending topic on Twitter". Philippine Entertainment Portal. October 9, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]