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I'm posting this with the hope of helping others avoid wrestling with this issue. Some of the text I rendered was coarse as the antialias effect was lost. I couldn't figure out what was causing the issue. Here is as shot of the effect:
It turns out that draw() needs background() called first before rendering text to avoid the coarse look of the text.
I found the explanation here after discovering the a solution myself after some frustration, http://processing.org/discourse/beta/num_1232926733.html
Hope this helps