Seattle’s Coffee Culture May Never Return To The Way It Was


A couple months ago, Tim Graham was leading sales and marketing at Broadcast Coffee, a popular small-batch community roaster in Central District. Today, he describes himself as more of a “fry cook,” though bagging coffee, gathering produce from closing restaurants, and preparing food for laid-off staff all fall under his new list of responsibilities as well.

“It’s adapt or die, at this point,” he says.

Graham is one of many cafe workers in the city whose role has significantly shifted due to COVID-19 measures, as shop owners and managers resort to serving limited takeout drinks and trying to maintain a social media presence, all at a social distance. Graham’s day-to-day now involves cooking breakfast sandwiches, serving to-go orders, and making the occasional delivery. Years in the food service industry have made him well-equipped to handle the changes, he says, though he realizes not every coffee shop may be able to adjust as Broadcast has.

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