This copycat recipe for the Starbucks medicine ball tea (AKA the Starbucks coldbuster) will soothe all the cold symptoms or aches on a cold day. A blend of two types of tea, herbal peach tea and green mint tea, it's served hot with lemon and sweeten with honey to boost your immune system.
Make Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea at Home!
The cool weather has arrived here in Virginia! It's my favorite time of the year, but it's also the time I keep all my sick tea ingredients in stock.
Something about me: I can get sick with a quickness! So making sick tea is a big thing for my house.
Don't feel good? I got a hot tea for that.
I feel like Honey Citrus Mint Tea is a kid-friendly hot drink that won't get turned away for being 'too spicy'.
Is the Medicine Ball really medicine? No, I'm not a medical professional so I won't tell you this is medicine, but what I will tell you is that plenty of the ingredients do help with the symptoms and durations of an illness.
Meet my copycat starbucks medicine ball, aka the Honey Citrus Mint Tea. It's light and flavorful with peach tranquility herbal tea and green tea, with a touch of honey that kicks your sore throat in the teeth.
This sweet, bright, formerly secret menu item is so cozy and surprisingly easy to make you'll be enjoying it all this season. Kiss those stuffy noses goodbye this winter!
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Why You'll Love this Copycat Starbucks Drink
- Made with simple ingredients - Both of these kinds of tea can be found at your local grocery store, and lemonade is simple and easy. A drizzle of honey, and boom, done!
- Tastes even better than the Starbucks' medicine ball - you can really make this your own version of medicine ball tea, use your favorite green tea bag, choose to make it as sweet as you like, use different flavorings, the options are endless.
- More bang for your buck - make it at home and have the ingredients on hand to make a honey citrus mint tea any time you want. Much more affordable!
- The easiest drink you'll make all season - perfect when you have the aches, make the medicine ball quickly and easily on the stovetop or in the microwave. No reason to fuss and be out of bed more than you need to when you're sick.
- Plenty of health benefits - this is the perfect hot drink to take care of yourself on a cold day or when you have the flu. Lemon is full of Vitamin C, honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and of course soothing, nourishing teas.
What is a Medicine Ball at Starbucks?
The Medicine Ball, which was also called The Cold Buster Tea and the Medicine Bomb, was a starbucks secret menu item, a famous customer creation, that became so popular that starbucks added it to the menu as the Honey Citrus Mint Tea.
The medicine ball is made with green mint tea and peach herbal tea, these are Teavana teas, and then mixed into the tea is lemonade. Then a drizzle of honey is added.
After starbucks baristas shared the recipe online, it was obvious that you could easily make the recipe at home!
- Your favorite heat-safe mug
- A saucepan or electric kettle
- A milk frother - I love this little tool! Starbucks froths their steamed lemonade, so to keep it authentic, you can do it, too!
Full ingredients, measurements, and printable instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea Bag - this tea has caffeine in it from the green tea. While it isn't a lot, if you aren't here for the caffeine use a decaffeinated green tea bag.
- Teavana Peach Tranquility Tea Bag - this tea has peach pieces for loads of yummy natural flavor.
- Homemade lemonade or your favorite store-bought lemonade - you can also use fresh lemon juice and hot water. We're making steamed lemonade to really boost your Vitamin C intake. A meta-analysis of nine clinical trials, published in BioMed Research International in July of 2018 found that a higher dosage of vitamin C, taken at the onset of a cold, helped reduce the duration of the cold and lessen the symptoms.
- Honey - a natural sweetener that won't cause any type of inflammation. I used one that's local and raw from the farms in the mountains nearby, which means that it was only strained before jarring and retains the pollen and antioxidants in the honey. It's also antifungal, antibacterial, and is an effective germ killer.
- (Optional) Pump of Peppermint Syrup or Peppermint Extract- this is an ingredient that was commonly added before the teavana tea drink was officially added to the starbucks menu. If you had it before with that very minty quality a pump of peppermint, or a couple of drops of peppermint extract, will do it for you.
How to Make Honey Citrus Mint Tea at Home
Step 1 | Steam lemonade in either an electric tea kettle set to 185 degrees F or on the stovetop in a saucepan (measure temperature with a thermometer) over medium heat. Once at temperature, remove the lemonade from the heat and into a large mug.
Optional: Once heated, use a milk frother or the steam wand on your espresso maker to froth the lemonade just like the baristas do as Starbucks.
Step 2 | Steep the mint and peach teavana tea bags in the hot lemonade: the green tea for 3 minutes, the peach tea for 5 minutes.
Step 3 | Remove tea bags and stir in honey until it's fully incorporated into the medicine ball drink.
Variations and Substitutions
- Garnish with fresh mint or lemon slices, because the glam doesn't stop when you're sick, honey.
- Use manuka honey if you have it, it is full of powerful immune-boosting properties!
- Make this an iced honey citrus mint tea by adding ice and cooling the drink down! So simple.
- Change up the tea - use your favorite flavored lemonade or swap the peach tea for apple, blueberry, strawberry teas.
Homemade Medicine Ball Recipe Tips
- To make this drink healthier, use lemonade that is sweetened with honey, agave, stevia, or monk fruit.
- You can also do half-lemonade/half-water to lower that sugar intake.
- Be patient and let the tea steep fully before you remove them. We want maximum flavor and benefits.
- Make it with homemade lemonade to really get the benefits out of fresh lemons.
- Honey and lemonade are absolutely wonderful for temporarily soothing and aiding sore throats. If you find the lemonade too tart, add a quarter cup of water to dilute it.
Storage and Reheating
Make a ton of honey citrus mint tea and save it in the fridge with a lid over the container or pitcher.
To reheat it, pour a serving into a microwave-safe cup and heat until hot, for about a minute and a half.
At Starbucks, they steam the lemonade and froth it using their machines. You may not have an espresso machine like they do, but you can use a super handy milk frother to quickly make your hot lemonade bubbly and frothy.
Nope! Only heat it up to about 185 degrees F, or until gently steaming.
You don't want to boil the lemonade because it'll burn the tea when you steep the sachets.
I remember being pregnant and worried about everything I ate! Luckily, the amounts caffeine and lemongrass in the teas are very small and should NOT cause any problems. Nonetheless, this is your tea you're making at home. Find mint green tea and peach teas that don't include lemongrass.
Don't worry too much about the caffeine, you'd need to drink about 200mg-300mg for it to be a problem. According to Starbucks, a 16 ounce Medicine Ball contains 16-25 mg of caffeine. Here's a link to the Cleveland Clinic's article about caffeine during pregnancy.
The Jade citrus mint green tea bag does has caffeine from the green tea in it. You can use decaffeinated mint green tea instead.
Yes! You can easily double, triple, even quadruple the recipe and keep it in a pitcher to keep in the fridge. Remove the tea sachets before storing.
The official name for the Medicine Ball on the Starbucks menu is Honey Citrus Mint Tea, but it's also known as Sick Tea, the Cold Buster, and The Medicine Bomb.
More Cozy Drinks
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Homemade Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea
- 1 ½ cup 350 mL lemonade
- 1 sachet Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea
- 1 sachet Teavana Peach Tranquility Tea
- 1 tablespoon 42 g honey
- 2-3 drops peppermint extract optional
- Steam lemonade in either an electric tea kettle set to 185 degrees F or on the stovetop in a saucepan (measure temperature with a thermometer) over medium heat. Once at temperature, remove the lemonade from the heat and into a large mug.
- Optional: Once heated: use a milk frother or the steam wand on your espresso maker to froth the lemonade
- Steep the two tea bags in the hot lemonade: the green tea for 3 minutes, the peach tea for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the honey until fully incorporated into the tea.
- Drink hot!