Presto Kombucha making fermented tea in Carmel

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Bottles of Presto Kombucha tea.

Bottles of Presto Kombucha tea.

For some in Carmel, the word “kombucha” might not sound like anything familiar.

Nick Murdick, left, speaks to customers about his kombucha teas. (Submitted photos)

Nick Murdick, left, speaks to customers about his kombucha teas. (Submitted photos)

But Nick Murdick, founder of Presto Kombucha, a company on Main Street in Carmel, aims to educate people about the fermented tea. This drink is created using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Even though it is fermented, Murdick’s products do no contain alcohol.

Murdick, 38, drank kombucha for the first time in 2008 while attending an International Horn Society Horn Symposium in Denver. He immediately began brewing his own.

“Drinking kombucha for the first time was a life-changing experience for me,” he said. “I realized that I had discovered a wonderful alternative for soda. I was fascinated with the process of brewing kombucha, and I began researching recipes and methods of production.”

While kombucha producers such as Murdick are prohibited from using health claims to promote the product, kombucha fans say the beverage can help with a variety of illnesses, or, at the very least, aid in one’s digestive and immune systems.

As part of his doctoral studies at Ball State University, Murdick prepared a business plan and researched the beverage industry extensively. He travelled around the United States and several cities in Europe and tested multiple makes and brands of commercially produced kombucha.

Presto Kombucha cold steeps its ingredients using commercial cold press juicers to press raw juices. The fermentation process for the kombucha takes between 10 and 30 days, and Murdick kegs several hundred gallons of product at a time.

Bottle sales for Presto Kombucha began in April 2015, and it is now available across the state in more than a dozen kombucha bars, specialty markets and grocery stories. It’s available at the Market District in Carmel and Moody’s Butcher Shop in Zionsville. The product is also available for delivery through Green Bean Delivery, a grocery delivery service.

Flavors include ginger, orange, pineapple orange, cranberry raspberry, lavender hops, apple jasmine, cherry vanilla, blueberry oolong, espresso and more.

Currently, Presto Kombucha is being produced out of Carmel’s Kitchen, a company founded by Mark and Stephanie Lewis that allows food creators to rent commercial kitchen/food production space.

Murdick works alongside his girlfriend Irina Mueller, and together, their goal is to sell the product worldwide. More than 6,000 bottles have been produced so far.

“The response to Presto Kombucha has been incredible, and producing Presto Kombucha commercially is a dream come true,” Murdick said. “I am fortunate that so many people are enjoying Presto Kombucha.”

WHERE TO GET PRESTO KOMBUCHA

Kombucha Bars

  • Two Cats Cafe, Muncie
  • Nature’s Pharm, Castleton
  • Nature’s Pharm, Greenwood
  • Nature’s Pharm, Lafayette

In Indianapolis

  • Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe
  • Good Earth
  • Georgetown Market
  • Goose the Market
  • Pogue’s Run Grocer
  • R2GO
  • The Garden Table
  • Wildwood Market

Also available in

  • Carmel – Market District
  • Fishers – North Star Health
  • Lafayette – Nature’s Pharm
  • Michigan City – The Nest
  • Muncie – The Caffeinery
  • Zionsville – Moody’s Butcher Shop
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