Like many things, the more I learn about coffee, the more I realize I don’t know. For instance, I’ve had a variety of Indonesian coffees, but I’ve never actually taken time to learn about their unique characteristics. Fortunately, the crew from Lokal Cold Brew recently launched in Columbus, and I had a chance to hang out with Sam Ryo, one of the creators.
Lokal consists of four friends, all from Indonesia, who are sourcing single origin Indonesian beans and cold brewing them for 12 hours and bottling them. So far they’ve created two brews – one Sumatran and one Java. Sam told me Indonesia has 4-5 major coffee-growing regions like Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Sulawesi, and each one produces very different beans. So even when we say “Indonesian coffee,” there’s a great variety within that definition.
Lokal has been producing their coffees out of The Commissary; they’re partnering with two different local roasters, Rost Coffee and Backroom Coffee Roasters. The coffees are available in these adorable little plastic bottles. Sam said the floral designs are called Batik, and hearken back to traditional Indonesian patterns created for clothing.
We’ve tried both brews and enjoyed them immensely. Indonesian coffees tend to be a little darker overall. The Java Taman Dadar is especially earthy – it’s even described as “ashy,” and we found that to be true, although there are some dark fruit notes to balance things out. The Sumatra Mandheling has been our preference. It’s still a little earthy, but with more citrusy overtones. Regardless of preference, both coffees are well worth seeking out. If you’re like me, you won’t necessarily stop drinking cold brew coffee once cooler temperatures hit, so I’m always open to more excellent cold coffees.