Josh Tuggle

A Coffee Geek’s Paradise

Josh Tuggle ’07 finds his job reflects his love for people, coffee, and teaching

Seattle Coffee Works may look like your average Seattle coffee shop. But behind the exposed brick, comfy seats, and local artwork, there’s a difference. For starters, baristas train for six months, not a few days. Iced coffee is never brewed hot, but steeps for four hours in a cold fusion process. All roasting is done in-house, and the coffee is served with a measure of education.

“It’s not just a place where you go inside and want your latté as fast as you can,” Josh Tuggle ’07 says. “It’s a place where we foster community and relationships over coffee.” Tuggle is the operations manager at SCW full-time, while working toward a master’s degree in teaching. He first became obsessed with coffee (and teaching) while living in Ethiopia for a year. Ethiopians have coffee ceremonies three times a day, that can last hours. “Everyone engages in this relationship that’s centered over these little cups,” Tuggle says.

The “slow bar” at SCW has a similar concept. It’s where customers can taste and discuss the “light peach notes” in a Kenyan coffee or the “nutty pecan” flavor in a coffee from Panama.

The shop’s location on First and Pike, right next to Pike Place Market, means that it attracts a wide array of tourists and locals. Regular customers include the owners of the skyscraper next door and a homeless man who comes in after he’s saved enough quarters. “It’s fun to be around all of these different people and ethnic groups,” Tuggle says. “But they all have something in common — coffee.”

By Julia Siemens, Photos By Mike Siegel

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