TIL: Relation between colonialism, trade, and bad coffee in France

French coffee shop owner Aleaume Paturle explains that in the past coffee from French colonies could be imported back to France duty-free, and the crop planted in places like Vietnam and Laos was the Robusta variety rather than the more prized Arabica.

Robusta, as the name suggests, is more hardy but the taste isn’t as rich and sometimes it’s over-roasted to give it more aroma. In general this makes for a more bitter, rougher taste, more notes of burnt wood and ashtray than chocolate or vanilla.

— Inrng, in Café Culture in France

All the same if you buy some Segafredo in Italy it tends to have this same taste, compared to the smoother varieties from Lavazza or Illy.

The mis-educated British, or why Boris Johnson has an audience

Many Britons have grown up believing their homeland saved and civilised the world, while atrocities, genocide and human rights abuses often go unmentioned. Successive governments have failed to narrow this knowledge gap, whether by setting up truth commissions, establishing a museum of colonialism or teaching schoolchildren about colonialism as part of the standard curriculum.

Why do archive files on Britain’s colonial past keep going missing? | Siobhan Fenton

Berlin marathon and The wall

The Berlin Marathon, once a pleasant but unremarkable jaunt through the Grunewald forest, was redirected through the streets of West Berlin in 1981. In doing so, it became part of the city for a day. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the race was rerouted again so that it passed through the old East and West Berlin. In that first true city-wide race, on 30 September 1990, three days before Germany was officially reunified, many runners wept as they passed underneath the Brandenburg Gate.

“Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon” by Ed Caesar, April 09, 2017 at 07:52 PM

Continue reading Berlin marathon and The wall