Monday, November 29, 2010

The Profile - 3.5, 10, 3.5 - Ben Rosenthal

I'd like to dedicate this script to Rol.

. A young man stands at a cash register in a small coffee house. He is wearing a short that is obviously too small for even his skeletal frame, with a picture of Che Guevara on it. His matted, unkempt hair is only slightly visible from underneath a beret. The coffee shop itself is a hip, funky place, trying its hardest to be cool. Surrounding the man at the cash register are the words “Plays World of Warcraft”, “never been kissed”.

Ok, one latte – 3.20. Head down to Brittney on the machine and she’ll make it for you right now.

2. We now see Brittney standing behind the coffee machine. Brittney is an extremely attractive girl, wearing a simple black top with a somewhat low plunging neckline. Surrounding her are the words “likes being single”, “hates underwear”.

Off to work, hun? What do you do?

3. The Profile has a sleazy look on his face. He is obviously thinking one thing.

I guess you could call me a Profiler.

4. A side panel, showing Brittney behind the coffee machine, with The Profile on the other side peering over the machine, obviously trying to look down her top. The words “open to new experiences” circles Brittney.

Oh, like on those TV shows where they catch criminals?

Something like that.

Well, I’m somewhat of a Profiler myself!

4. Same as panel 2. Brittney is still smiling. The speech bubble is taking up most of the panel – somewhat like a Kevin Smith panel.

You see, most espressos are purpose blended for an overall flavor. To brew these, roasters call out a brew temp, assume the machine is set to 9 bars of pump pressure, and suggest a time factor for extraction, usually around 25 seconds. However, what roasters and baristas are finding is that even existing blends have totally new horizons of possibility that we didn’t know existed before, when pressure becomes variable. It is fun to discover these, and is not hard to imagine that someday blends could be created purposefully to utilize a certain coffee machine’s flavor amplification potential. Delicate single origins also play well under these conditions too.

5. The Profile is staring blankly. His sleazy smile is gone, replaced but a dumbfounded look of annoyance. Brittney continues her explanation off panel.


I've been identifying my brew parameters like this - 3.5 bars -16 seconds, 9 bars -7 seconds, 3.5 bars – 4 seconds, off. Then 2.5 bars – 10 seconds, 10 bars-18 seconds, off. This format represents an initial brew pressure and time, a full pressure brew and time and a return pressure and time, which includes a tailing off of pressure. The shots pulled on certain coffee machines tend to be longer than the prescribed 18-23 second range. I'm finding results in the 30-35 second range on this machine.

6. Back to the panel of Brittney, who is still all smiles. The words surrounding her now are “coffee”, “coffee”, “coffee”.

The two profile samples produce significantly different results from the same coffee. Yet either espresso would be considered excellent, though one has a more chocolatey, full body, while the other has more flower essences, and a lemon finish.

7. A side panel showing Brittney behind the coffee machine and the Profile on the other side, similar to panel 4. They are looking directly at each other. The only words surrounding Brittney are “likes girls”.

So by profiling our shots, we get a more interesting cup. One that fully explores the...

Just give me my damn coffee.


  1. haha That was hilarious, Ben! I have no idea what she was saying, but that just adds to the humour, as I doubt he would either. Nice work.

    As far as the character goes, I think he would have seen the "likes girls" bit straight up. However, if an artist was on their game, they could have it in Panel 2 as very small writing, so by the end of her rant, it's the only sentence left :P

  2. "I don't know what the f$%^ you just said little boy, but you special, and you touched me."

    Ben, finally all that barista training came in handy, i'm pleased for you man. A nice little scene for The Profile to have to suffer through, I like it.

  3. Well done Ben, I liked this and it did something unexpected with the character.

    However it's not without issues. I might just be failing to pay attention, but i got easily confused by panels 1-3, at least until I got that the first two are POV shots. Nothing that damaging, just threw me off as I went in.

    Also man... You know too much about coffee IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE

  4. Bwahahaha! Thanks, Ben. I'm just glad nobody asked him if he wanted "grande".

    Another script that, after having read, I was glad I'd already written mine. I just have to go delete the words "never been kissed" before posting it...


Feedback is what every good writer wants and needs, so please provide it in the white box below
If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.