In The Kitchen With: Orion Coffee and Tea

“Orion Coffee and Tea” is a business owned by a couple from Xenia who chose to expand into Washington Court House in Fayette County. Although plans to open the building have been stalled, it was decided to start meeting new customers and selling some of their delicious drinks and food items by a trailer on the property.

The Washington Court House location will be the third one to be opened, according to co-owner Eric Irwin. Other locations include Cedarville and a drive-thru in Jamestown.

The building will be located on South Elm Street across from Washington High School and Middle School.

Sharayah Irwin, co-owner of Orion and spouse of Eric, explained in mid-August, “our opening has faced several delays, almost completely related to getting contractors who are available to do the needed work through the pandemic and, even as we’ve been moving out of it, there have been very long wait times for each step. Thankfully, the latest step which held us up for nearly three months (getting the drive-thru windows installed) is complete, so we are ready to start drywalling!”

Hopefully, all work will be done and the business will officially open its doors in October.

“We’ve called the coffee trailer our ‘We’re Tired of Waiting’ opening. It’s been hard having to tell people that the coffee shop wasn’t ready yet, and we decided — even if it wasn’t immediately a hugely profitable setup — it would be great to start building a relationship with the people who’ve been so excited to come and support us.

“It was a fairly quick process to get it built and approved for use, and our three Washington C.H. barista locals that worked in Jamestown were so happy to be able to start taking ownership of their new space, even if it is just a stand-in while we work on the building.

“It’s amazing how much equipment you can fit in a small space, and the only regret we have is that we didn’t do this months ago,” explained Sharayah.

The three baristas have worked for Orion in other locations but live closer to Washington Court House. They explained it is nice to work closer to home even with having to set up the trailer at the beginning of each day. Those baristas are: Manager Becky Lewis, Sarah Haldeman and Sadie Nye.

The baristas explained that blueberry bagels are their most popular food item at this time.

“Our bagels are incredible, if I do say so myself,” said Lewis. “People have loved the bagels. I love our bagels.”

As for drinks, the mochas are the best seller and are also, according to Haldeman, incredible.

It all started with the purchase of a pre-existing coffee shop in Cedarville called Telemetry.

“Eric was at the time running a different small business (screenprinting geeky shirts), but he’s always loved coffee and was looking into starting a coffee roasting business and eventually opening a cafe. We heard a rumor that the owner of Telemetry was looking for someone who was passionate about coffee and small business to take it off his hands, and we decided to jump in with both feet. It’s been a busy couple of years, but both of us are very grateful that God placed the opportunity in front of us,” explained Sharayah.

“Besides our three cafe/drive-thru locations, we have a building in Springfield that we use as both our headquarters and our roastery. We roast coffee there three times a week to keep our shops and online retail sales constantly supplied with fresh beans. We’ve roasted over 8,300 pounds of coffee so far this year, which is more than we roasted in all of 2020.”

The decision to open in Court House was more of a personal one for the owners.

Sharayah explained, “Although Eric and I live in Xenia, we go to church in Washington Court House, and that’s where our family gathers. So we’re glad to have a location where we can see many of our friends and family passing through. The trailer/cafe is actually being managed by my mother, Becky Lucas, so it’s really a family affair.

“We are also expecting our third child in December, so hopefully our Washington C.H. location is settled and running smoothly by then so we can take a breath and enjoy that special time together. We really appreciate everyone who’s stopped by the coffee trailer so far.”

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Iced Caramel Macchiato

For a 12 oz. glass:

1 oz of caramel syrup (Orion sells bottles of high quality Monin syrup, you can also buy at grocery store)

Approximately 8 oz of whole milk or milk alternative

2 oz of espresso (if you don’t have an espresso machine, brew the coffee as strong as possible on your regular machine)

Ice

Put caramel in bottom of glass, followed by ice. Pour the milk but leave room on top for espresso. Gently pour the espresso/coffee over top for a beautiful layered look. The difference between a latte and macchiato is the order of the layers — the first sips are mostly coffee and, as you drink, the syrup and milk blend in so the drink finishes on a very sweet note. To take it to the next level, buy some caramel ice cream topping and drizzle that on the inside of the glass before you make the macchiato!

Salt Magazine