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How To Make Copycat Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea Recipe

Don’t you hate it when you can feel a sore throat coming on and you just know you’re going to feel like crap in a day or two??

When it’s cold and flu season nothing is more comforting than a hot drink to soothe your throat and open up your sinuses.

The Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea, also known as the Coldbuster, is a hot drink that does just that.

This warming drink is a cold remedy and immune system booster wrapped up in a cup of steaming tea.

Two kinds of tea, combined with the time-tested combination of honey and lemon make for a tasty “cure” for the common cold and flu.

Next time you’re feeling under the weather, here’s a recipe you can use to make this Coldbuster tea at home to start relieving your cold symptoms. This warming beverage is my favorite drink from my list of Starbucks copycat recipes.

So now you can stay in your sweatpants under that cozy quilt and not have to venture out to your local Starbucks to start feeling better. It’s one of the best teas for a sore throat I’ve found.

starbucks medicine ball cold remedy
Feeling under the weather? Mix up a steaming mug of this Starbucks copycat recipe!

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What Is the Medicine Ball Tea from Starbucks?

This is how the Starbucks version is described on their website:

A customer creation so popular it’s now on the menu. Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea, Peach Tranqulity Herbal Tea, hot water, steamed lemonade and a touch of honey mingle tastefully well together for a tea that comforts from the inside out.

Starbucks Website

This remedy for the common cold goes by many names:

  • The Medicine Ball
  • The Cold Buster
  • Honey Citrus Mint Tea

Order any of these and the barista will know just what you are talking about.

MORE TO SIP ON: How to Make Cinnamon Vanilla Milk Tea

citrus defender ingredients
Honey and Lemon are ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

Secret Starbucks Menu

Did you know there was a Secret Starbucks Menu? And this copycat Starbucks Medicine Ball recipe was a very special, and often requested Starbucks secret menu item.

Well, that’s where this drink lived until 2016 when it became so popular that the big guns at Starbucks decided to give it a permanent place on the regular Starbucks menu.

Legend has it that this drink skyrocketed to the regular menu in 2016 when Instagrammers hashtagged it into popularity all over social media.

#starbucksmedicineball #starbuckscoldbuster

No matter how it arrived on the scene, it’s now part of the permanent Starbucks drink menu and is one of the best hot tea drinks to order at Starbucks.

Who Created the Starbucks Medicine Ball?

No one really knows for sure, but this popular drink must have been some creative Starbucks baristas who decided to blend the ingredients into a soothing cold remedy for an under the weather sniffling customer.

cold buster recipe
When you’re sick, nothing feels better than a soothing hot drink.

What Kind of Tea goes into a Medicine Ball?

Two different kinds of Teavana tea bags give this Honey Citrus Mint Tea it’s soothing properties:

Teavana Tea Jade Citrus Mint and Peach Tranquility

While I usually use Teavana teas as the main ingredient, you can also use other brands of tea like Bigelow Brand Peach Tea and Celestial Seasonings Country Peach Passion to replace the Peach Tranquility tea. Tea Forte citrus mint tea is a good alternative if you can’t find the Jade Citrus Mint tea bag on your store shelves.

Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea, Country Peach Passion, Caffeine Free, 20 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)

Bigelow Perfect Peach Herbal Tea 20 tea bags

Tea Forte Organic Herbal Tea, Makes 35-50 Cups, 1.76 Ounce Loose Leaf Tea Canister, Citrus Mint

How to Make Medicine Ball Tea At Home

Fortunately for us, the Coldbuster is easy to make at home, even if you’re not feeling your best.

This drink is really simple and easy to make. It’s a combination of simple ingredients: hot water, steamed lemonade, two types of tea and honey. You can get all the ingredients at your local grocery store.

If you order this drink at Starbucks, you can add an optional pump of peppermint syrup.

This makes the drink way too sweet in my opinion, but if you want a bit of extra mint, you could add a dash of peppermint extract as well. Even a squeeze of fresh lemon would add a little extra zing.

starbucks medicine ball recipe
Honey and lemon work their magic in this easy recipe.

Ingredients for Medicine Ball Tea

Luckily, the ingredients for this Starbucks medicine ball tea recipe are easy to find. Now that I know how to make this I always have the Teavana teas in my pantry just in case. The nice thing about these herbal teas is they are non caffeinated tea choices, so you don’t have to worry about them keeping you awake.

You can also use your favorite lemonade, even sugar-free lemonade works just as well.

Other Starbucks Feel Better Quick Drinks

The Medicine Ball drink was so popular, Starbucks followed up with another immunity-boosting cold remedy.

Citrus Defender: Power through the winter season with our vitamin C packed Defense White Tea, handcrafted with steamed lemonade and honey.

Starbucks Website
medicine ball copycat starbucks recipe
Two types of tea go into the medicine ball drink, along with honey and lemon.

The Citrus Defender is a combination of Teavana Defense Wellness Tea, steamed lemonade, hot water, and honey.

Just looking for a cold refreshing drink? Try this copycat Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher Recipe!

Ingredients for Starbucks medicine ball tea drink.

Starbucks Medicine Ball

Yield: 1 serving
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This combination of honey and lemon along with two types of tea make for a tasty throat soother when you're feeling under the weather. Coldbuster drink.


  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 bag Teavana Peach Tranquility Tea
  • 1 bag Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey or more to taste


  1. Heat lemonade on the stove or in the microwave. Add to a 16-ounce mug.
  2. Stir in hot water.
  3. Add tea bags and let steep 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in honey.


Add a dash of peppermint extract if you want a mintier flavor.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 16 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163

Nutrition facts assume using 1 TB of honey, and one cup of standard lemonade.

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Flat lay of ingredients to make a starbucks medicine ball
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