Starbucks Medicine Balls: The perfect under-the-weather tea

How to order a Medicine Ball at Starbucks and how to make one at home

A cup of Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea aka Honey Citrus Mint Tea

If you’re feeling under the weather and are looking for a delicious and healthy drink that can help you feel better quickly, then the Starbucks Medicine Ball should be one of your top options. Though its name sounds like a piece of gym equipment, the Starbucks Medicine Ball is actually a tea that can supposedly soothe a sore throat, relieve congestion, and boost immunity. Read on to learn more about this alleged cure-all drink, including how to order it and how to make one at home.

What is a Medicine Ball at Starbucks?

Also called Starbucks Coldbuster, Starbucks Medicine Ball is an herbal tea popular during the cold and flu season. It started out as a Starbucks secret menu item, but after it became overwhelmingly popular among fans, the coffeehouse chain officially added the drink to its menu in 2017 under the name “Honey Citrus Mint Tea”.

According to the Starbucks website, the Medicine Ball is a tea that comforts from the inside out. It is a combination of Jade Citrus Mint green tea, Peach Tranquility herbal tea, hot water, steamed lemonade, and honey. You can also request extra pumps of peppermint syrup for additional flavor.

Cups of tea at Starbucks
Starbucks cups

What’s in the Starbucks Medicine Ball drink?

The Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea is made with the following ingredients:

  • Lemonade (water, lemon juice, sugar, and lemon oil);
  • An infusion of water, organic green tea, organic spearmint, organic lemon verbena, organic lemongrass, and natural flavor;
  • An infusion of water, apple pieces, candied pineapple pieces (pineapple, sugar, citric acid), rose hip peels, peach pieces (peach, rice flour), peach pieces, chamomile flowers, lemon verbena, and artificial flavoring; and
  • Honey Blend (honey, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum, and citric acid.

A Grande cup of Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea is 130 calories. It has zero total fat, zero cholesterol, and zero protein. It has 10 mg sodium, 32 g total carbohydrates, and 16 mg caffeine.

What does Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea taste like?

The Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea has a refreshing, citrusy flavor. According to Amrita Thakkar’s review of the drink for the website Taste of Home, the peach flavor is the dominant flavor of the beverage. The peach flavor reportedly masks the bitterness of the green tea, resulting in an almost pleasant aftertaste.

Thakkar does not recommend the drink to people who don’t like peach, as it really overpowers the other flavors. Thakkar added that taste of lemonade is weak and there’s barely a hint of mint. As for the sweetness, Thakkar pointed out that it can be overwhelming even for those who have a sweet tooth.

What is the Starbucks Medicine Ball good for?

The Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea is said to be good for relieving cold and flu symptoms, such as sore throat, cough, and congestion.

Here are some of the benefits of the ingredients in the Starbucks Medicine Ball:

  • Jade Citrus Mint Tea is a blend of green tea, spearmint, lemon verbena, and lemongrass. It is a good source of antioxidants and has been shown to boost the immune system.
  • Peach Tranquility Tea is a blend of chamomile, peach, rosehip, and passionflower. It is known for its calming and relaxing properties.
  • Steamed lemonade is a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
  • Honey is a natural cough suppressant and has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Does the Starbucks Medicine Ball work?

There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea can cure or prevent the common cold or flu. However, some people believe that the tea’s ingredients, such as green tea, honey, and lemon, may help to relieve some of the symptoms of a cold or flu, such as a sore throat, cough, and congestion. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, it’s best to consult with a doctor.

How do I order a Medicine Ball at Starbucks?

You can order the Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea at the Starbucks drive-thru, in-store, or on the Starbucks app. Tell your barista that you would like a Medicine Ball, if your barista doesn’t know what it is, you can enumerate all the ingredients or simply ask for a Honey Citrus Mint Tea. As mentioned above, Medicine Ball has been a permanent menu item since 2017 under its official menu name Honey Citrus Mint Tea. After specifying the size of your drink, let the barista know if you would like any customizations, such as extra pumps of peppermint syrup.

Ordering via the Starbucks app is pretty straightforward:

  1. Open the Starbucks app.
  2. Select “Order”.
  3. Select “Hot Tea”.
  4. Select “Honey Citrus Mint Tea”.
  5. Specify the size of your drink (Short, Tall, Grande, or Venti).
  6. If you would like any customizations, such as extra honey or lemonade, select them.
  7. Tap “Pay”.

How much is a Starbucks Medicine Ball?

The price of a Starbucks Medicine Ball varies by location. Available in four different cup sizes, it generally costs $3.15 for a short cup (8 ounces), $3.25 for a tall cup (12 ounces), $3.95 for a grande cup (16 ounces), and $4.45 for a Venti cup (24 ounces).

Cup of homemade tea
Cup of homemade tea

Copycat Starbucks Medicine Ball recipe

Want to make a version of Medicine Ball at home? You can follow the copycat Medicine Ball Starbucks recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea bag
  • 1 Teavana Peach Tranquility Tea bag
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup lemonade (adjust to taste)

Instructions

  1. Boil the water: Heat one cup of water in a kettle or saucepan until it reaches a rolling boil.
  2. Steep the teas: Place one Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea bag and one Teavana Peach Tranquility Tea bag — both tea bags are available at your local grocery store — in a large mug or teapot. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let them steep for about 5-7 minutes to extract the flavors.
  3. Add honey: Remove the tea bags and add 1-2 teaspoons of honey to the brewed tea, adjusting the amount to your desired level of sweetness. Stir well to ensure the honey dissolves completely.
  4. Incorporate lemonade: Pour 1/4 cup of lemonade into the tea, adjusting the quantity based on your preference for a hint of citrus flavor. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
  5. Taste and adjust: Give the mixture a taste and make any necessary adjustments by adding more honey or lemonade according to your personal preference.
  6. Serve and enjoy: Pour the homemade Medicine Ball tea into a cup or mug, and savor its comforting flavors. Feel free to garnish with lemon slices or mint leaves for an extra touch of visual appeal.

Tips

  • Use fresh, hot water: The water should be just below boiling when you add it to the tea bags.
  • Steep the tea for the correct amount of time: If you steep the tea for too long, it will become bitter.
  • Use good quality tea bags: The quality of the tea bags will make a big difference in the taste of your Medicine Ball.
  • Add the honey to taste: You may need to add more or less honey depending on your personal preference.
Source: Taste of Home, Starbucks
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