The A-Tea

Sacramento’s legendary allergy season is upon us. Here’s one very hot tip.
Allerytea 1
Photo by Curtis Yee

It’s that time of year again, when Sacramento’s signature tree canopy—lush and verdant, it’s the densest in the U.S., according to researchers at MIT—shakes down upon innocent bystanders its breathless amounts of pollen. If the sneezy, itchy, watery signs of seasonal allergies are afoot, skip the medicine cabinet and heat up the kettle instead. In 2017, when Heather Wong, owner of the downtown culinary boutique Allspicery, reached a hay fever pitch with her own springtime sensitivity, she created the Sactown Allergy Tea with local herbalist (and fellow allergy sufferer) Stephanie Schaber. The curative blend of eight potent dried herbs, each celebrated for its medicinal properties, includes stinging nettle leaf (a natural antihistamine), licorice root (an expectorant), turmeric (an anti-inflammatory) and ginger (an immunity booster). Wong recommends a soothing hot preparation of the loose-leaf tea, making sure to indulge a long steep—15 minutes should do the trick—to allow the caffeine-free concoction ample time to maximize its pleasantly herbaceous flavor and therapeutic benefits. For even more salubrious effects, swirl in a spoonful of local honey, prized for its place-specific, gesundheit-halting virtues (Allspicery stocks Becker wildflower honey, sourced from West Sacramento hives). Then sip, breathe easy and say ahh instead of achoo. $3 per oz.