Medicine Ball Tea (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)

4.60 from 20 votes

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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.

  • When you’re feeling under the weather or deep in cold and flu season, give this tea a try.
  • An off-menu customer favorite that became an official Starbucks menu drink.
Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea in a glass mug with loose tea next to the mug.

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Recipe Highlights

  • A Starbucks customer creation, Medicine Ball Tea (formerly a secret menu item), is hailed as a cure-all from hardcore fans of the drink.
  • 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.

RELATED: Lemon 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 one that does.
  • 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. If you can’t find the Teavana tea, get the Tazo Zen Tea.
  • Teavana Peach Tranquility: There’s two different teas in this drink and this one is an herbal tea flavored with peach, chamomile, and citrus. If you can’t find it, try peach herbal tea.
  • Honey: To sweeten and soothe your throat, any kind of honey will work.

For full ingredients and detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Four photo collage showing steps to make Medicine Ball Tea.
  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.
  • 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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4.60 from 20 votes

Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea

By: Jee Choe
Make this popular cold-fighting tea at home with just 5 ingredients.
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 1 serving

Equipment

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.

Notes

  • Get Tazo Zen Tea if you can’t find the Teavana Jade Citrus Mint tea.
  • If you can’t find the Teavana Peach Tranquility tea, try a peach herbal tea.
  • 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: 20ouncesCalories: 213Carbohydrates: 55gProtein: 1gSodium: 34mgSugar: 52g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized or tag #ohhowcivilized!

About Jee Choe

Welcome! I'm a certified Tea Sommelier and a self-proclaimed bubble tea and iced tea master. I'm all about making tea EASY and DELICIOUS.

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