Today Voice of America News broadcast an executive summary of sorts on specialty coffee consumption in America: VOA News – Good to the Last Drop: Coffee Culture Is Alive and Well in the US. Like many things VOA, it’s spoken in slow and clearly annunciated English. Think the clinical drone of NPR presented at the pace of Barney & Friends. It’s enough to make you feel like a severe head injury victim in rehab, recovering from a high-speed motorcycle accident.
The story starts in Philadelphia’s excellent La Colombe Torrefaction. It then proceeds to touch on Starbucks bashing for its cancerous expansion, public curiosity about barista championships, a little on the history of coffee production and consumption, the differences between arabica and robusta, coffee’s economic crisis, and some of the environmental concerns surrounding coffee production.
Unlike the Catholic Church — which swallowed the Fair Trade self-promotion bait hook, line, and sinker — VOA did a commendable job of at least attempting to present both pro and con arguments to the Fair Trade movement. That sort of critical thinking is worth calling out in itself, particularly coming from an agency whose sole purpose is essentially propaganda.
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