Things We Love: Picks from LOKAL Cold Brew's Sam Ryo

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

By day, Sam Ryo works as a flavor scientist, which means, in part, that sugar and fat "are beautiful things" because they carry flavors really well. But Ryo's new cold brew coffee that he recently launched with friends/fellow Indonesian expats Sean, Nico and Winny doesn't need such embellishments. Named Lokal after the Indonesian word for "local," the new company is striving to bring much needed representation to their home region's coffee scene, while also working with local roasters Rost and Backroom to reconcile the two locations. The results, for now, are two standout single-origin cold brews available exclusively at The Roosevelt Coffeehouse.

The Roosevelt

I like the Roosevelt - not just because they carry our stuff. It's a nice place to feel like you're part of the community. It's just that sense of everybody knowing each other. They, obviously, serve good coffee, and it's nice to know they're using it as a medium for something tangibly good. The whole place is non-profit, which is amazing. I'm thoroughly impressed.

The Barn in Berlin

At first glance I thought it was the most pretentious place in the world. This place has no music, no sugar. No laptops, no internet. It's a totally douche move, but at the same I get it. It's like their entire reason for existence is for quality coffee and for how they think you should enjoy coffee. It draws people into the conversations they're having and it helps you enjoy their coffee.

Father John Misty'sI Love You, Honeybear

It's such a phenomenal album. I really appreciate his disenchantment with everything. It's brutally honest and extremely sarcastic. There are some lines in there, like on "Born in the U.S.A.," with that laugh track underneath the subprime loan part and useless education, where it's like, "Oh god, it hits so close."

Haruki Murakami's"1Q84"

I've heard all ranges of reviews, but I just started it. Murakami's stuff is like stepping into a dream world. You're in a fugue state almost. It's so poetic, but then he also changes subtle details about reality and it feels like a dream.

Amtrak trips

I like train travel in general, and about two years ago I did one that started in San Francisco and ended in Chicago. You're basically in the thick of the canyons and right next to rivers and valleys. You go through Colorado, the Rockies, deserts. It takes three days from start to finish. It's definitely a good way to see America in a new/old way. You see people from Silicon Valley but also the Mennonites, the Amish and the people who use this form of transportation regularly. It's a broad swath of people.

Sam Ryo

Co-owner/founder, Lokal Cold Brew

Instagram: @lokalcoldbrew