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Single Origins 2.0

This year presented more challenges than ever before. Captain of the SJSU volleyball team, I had the privilege of sharing the court with the most incredible teammates I could ever ask for. We practised full time, putting our bodies through more than we thought was possible. When we weren’t training, we were travelling, playing, volunteering, attending classes, studying, and sprinkling dashes of sleep in between. This sounds hard, and it was. I’ve come to learn that it takes a certain kind of messed up head, to want this in your life, and mine was/is more messed than most.

SJSU Beach Volleyball Team, 2020

Cafes became a haven for me, and so the quest to find good coffee had begun. By now I was an almond milk latte connoisseur. My Australian experiences had given me the perfect standards to uphold. I knew how hot it should be, what it should feel like it my mouth, the strength, the kinds of flavour that should burst through, and even eyed the latte art. There was just one problem. Trying to find good coffee in America, wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. Every Sunday, I packed my bag with study materials and ventured out to explore a new place in the hopes that I would find ‘the one’ (wow this is starting to sound like the bachelorette). If I liked the place, it received a rose – I mean a note on my phone – and if I didn’t, I voted with my feet and didn’t return.

Verve Coffee, Santa Cruz

March 2020 came around, and so did COVID-19. Like everyone else around the globe, this drastically shifted my universe. All sports were cancelled. DONE. No more. Not suspended – CANCELLED. This sent shockwaves through the nation, and more locally, my team. We struggled to come to terms with the fact that we wouldn’t get to complete our season. No senior nights, no graduation ceremonies, no photos tossing our caps in the air, no closure. Just long flights back home and a 14 day quarantine awaited.

ZOOM became the new normal, and with circumstances rapidly changing it appeared the only thing we could count on was the steady cadence of the second hand moving around the clock. I used this opportunity to reevaluate my plans, and realised the goals had never changed, the journey had just taken an unexpected path. One that has led me to where I am today, coffee love hand in hand.

“All we have to do is to decide what to do with the time that is given us”

J. R. R. Tolkien

By now I am almost a mature adult, preferring Oat to Almond milk, the coffee flavour taking more of centre stage. Every Sunday I go to my local markets to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, then venture to a new cafe to try. What started as a means to stay awake, has blossomed into a cafe rating hobby that I am excited to share with you all in posts to come. While I haven’t made the switch to a long black yet, if or when I do, you’ll be the first to know.

Thanks for having Coffee with Me,
Caitlin xx

Picture of Caitlin Bettenay

Caitlin Bettenay


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