Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea (Cold Buster) Recipe

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Also known as the Cold Buster, the Medicine Ball Tea was a Starbucks secret menu item. Now, you can find it on the menu as Honey Citrus Mint Tea. See how easy it is to make this popular Starbucks drink at home.

Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea in a glass mug with loose tea next to the mug.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A Starbucks customer creation, Medicine Ball Tea (formerly a secret menu item), is hailed as a cure-all from hardcore fans of the drink. When you’re feeling under the weather or deep in cold and flu season, give this tea a try.
  • The drink became so popular that it officially made it onto the menu under Honey Citrus Mint Tea. It was also called the Cold Buster.
  • It’s easy to recreate at home, using the same ingredients used at Starbucks. The ingredients are water, lemonade, two different teas from Teavana (the same brand and tea used at Starbucks), and honey. Peppermint syrup or extract can be added if you want to add more of minty flavor.

Looking for more tea recipes to ease a cold? Try my easy Ginger Tea, Honey Citron Tea, and Chamomile Tea.

Ingredient Notes

Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea ingredients.
  • Water
    Filtered water is best for making any kind of tea.
  • Lemonade
    Most lemonade doesn’t contain any vitamin C, so try to find out that does like the one I linked.
  • Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea
    This is the same tea that’s used at Startbucks to make the Medicine Ball. It’s a green tea (so there’s caffeine) with spearmint, lemon verbena, and lemongrass. There are 15 tea sachets in one container.
  • Teavana Peach Tranquility
    There’s two different teas in this drink and this one is an herbal tea flavored with peach, chamomile, and citrus. There are 15 tea sachets in one container.
  • Honey
    To sweeten and soothe your throat, any kind of honey will work.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Four photo collage showing steps to make Medicine Ball Tea.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.

  1. Combine water, lemonade, and tea sachets into a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
    Snip off the tea sachet tags before putting the sachets in the saucepan. Make sure the sachets are fully in the water and not floating on top. Heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove tea sachets and add honey.
  3. Pour tea into a mug.

Expert Tips

  • To use fresh lemons (to get more vitamin C) instead of lemonade, squeeze one small lemon into the saucepan with a cup of water. Since there isn’t any sugar like there is with the lemonade, you can add more honey to sweeten.
  • To make this tea caffeine-free, replace the Jade Citrus Mint tea with a mint tea which doesn’t have any green tea.
  • Instead of the Teavana teas, you can use a green tea with mint instead of the Jade Citrus Mint and a peach flavored tea instead of Peach Tranquility.
  • At Starbucks, you can ask for this drink with pumps of peppermint syrup. At home, you can use a couple of drops of peppermint extract instead.
  • Lemon syrup can be used instead of lemonade and honey if you want a shortcut.

Questions You May Have

What does this drink taste like?

It tastes like a sweet peach and lemon flavored tea with a touch of mint.

How much is in each serving?

This drink is a Starbucks Venti size (20 oz.) which is 2 ½ cups. I tried making it a smaller size and it was too cloyingly sweet from the peach tea.

Is there any caffeine in a Medicine Ball?

Yes, the Jade Citrus Mint Tea is a green tea so there is caffeine in this drink.

Should I let this tea come to a boil?

No, just let it steam and then take it off the heat. 5 minutes on the stovetop should do it.

Glass of Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea and loose tea next to it.

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Medicine ball tea.

Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea

Author: Jee Choe
Make this popular cold-fighting tea at home with just 5 ingredients.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 7 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Combine water, lemonade, and tea sachets into a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
    Snip off the tea sachet tags before putting the sachets in the saucepan. Make sure the sachets are fully in the water and not floating on top. Heat for 5 minutes.
  • Remove tea sachets and add honey.
  • Pour tea into a mug.
    A serving size of this drink is 20 ounces so use a large mug or pour yourself a refill after the first.

EQUIPMENT

NOTES

  • To use fresh lemons (to get more vitamin C) instead of lemonade, squeeze one small lemon into the saucepan with a cup of water. Since there isn’t any sugar like there is with the lemonade, you can add more honey to sweeten.
  • To make this tea caffeine-free, replace the Jade Citrus Mint tea with a mint tea which doesn’t have any green tea.
  • Instead of the Teavana teas, you can use a green tea with mint instead of the Jade Citrus Mint and a peach flavored tea instead of Peach Tranquility.
  • At Starbucks, you can ask for this drink with pumps of peppermint syrup. At home, you can use a couple of drops of peppermint extract instead.
  • Lemon syrup can be used instead of lemonade and honey if you want a shortcut.

NUTRITION

Serving: 20ounces | Calories: 213 | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 34mg | Sugar: 52g
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