I had no idea what “oud” was until I started attending classes at Ta’leef Collective in Fremont. The teacher, one of the founders of Ta’leef, Usama Canon would burn what I thought was incense during the class. Actually, it was oud. As it turns out, he and his business partner Micah Anderson have a company called Oudimentary, which focuses on the distribution of high quality Oud or “aloeswood” as its also known.
Aloeswood is an aromatic, resinous heartwood that is found in trees from the aquilaria genus, an evergreen native to South East Asia. It is thought that aloeswood is created by a reaction from an injury to the tree, starting an infection and thus triggering the oleoresin to grow within the heartwood of the tree. It is this resin-impregnated heartwood, which is the actual aloeswood product and is extracted for use as raw wood chips and powder or processed into an oil.
In the same building in which Ta’leef’s classes are housed in Fremont, the two of them have officially opened up an “Oud Bar” at the Oudimentary storefront where not only can one check out the different oud fragrances they offer but can also have…wait for it… coffee.
The beverages offered include French Press Coffee, Pour Over coffee, Yemeni Coffee, and Moroccan Spiced Coffee. There are also some teas. I didn’t have a chance to check out the Oud Bar when it first opened so when I saw the announcement that they were going to have a special event last Friday night, I thought it would be the perfect time to check this place out.
And so that’s how I found myself sitting on a stool at a custom made Sequoia wood table, sipping on moroccan spice coffee after I had rinsed my hands in citrus and clove water, with an application of oud oil on my hand, breathing in the fragrance from the oud emanating from the wood chips in the metal burner. All of these details were part of Oudimentary’s new menu items: “Experiences”, which they officially debuted that night, offered different combinations of oud and coffee into packages for any of their patrons since enjoying oud goes hand in hand with drinking coffee.
I had never had moroccan coffee before. For me this was an experience just on its own. They served it to me sweetened, with more than a hint of spices that I couldn’t identify, although they did reveal that there was also some frankincese in there. The coffee had even been topped with a bit of orange blossom too. After that, I was presented with the moroccan spice coffee unsweetened. I sat confused for a while as I took in the second drink, uncertain about which version I liked better. I eventually come to the conclusion that I preferred the sweetened version as I thought it balanced the spices quite nicely.
Next I had the Yemeni coffee. This I had once before during class at Ta’leef in which Yemeni coffee was randomly served. This coffee is lighter in color than most of the coffee I’ve had and is meant to be more caffeinated. I was offered a second cup soon after I finished my first cup and gladly took it.
I know, I know: Bushra, how much coffee did you drink?* In my defense, it was offered and I accepted. I didn’t want to be rude or anything… *cough*.
That night was a cool intro to Oudimentary and the Oud Bar. I could see myself going there pretty regularly for a cup o’ (French Press/Pour Over) joe, to see if I can discern the spices in moroccan coffee, and who knows, maybe even venture into the teas. To have something like this, and in Fremont no less, is most definitely awesome.
You can check out the Oud Bar at Oudimentary at
43170 Osgood Rd.
Fremont, California 94539
It’s open Monday-Friday, 2pm-10pm, Sunday 5pm-11pm, and Saturday by appointment.
*4 cups, if you were keeping count. Wait, why were you keeping count? That’s just weird, noting how much coffee some random person drank in one night…