This Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe is just the thing for those chilly months, and when you’re feeling under the weather. With citrus mint and peach tea, lemon, and honey, this honey citrus mint tea comes together quickly – it’s comforting AND delicious!

A clear mug of honey citrus mint tea


Copycat Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe

This Medicine Ball Tea, my own Starbucks copycat recipe, is perfect comfort when I’m feeling under the weather, or when I simply want to relax on a chilly evening.

I started ordering this Starbucks drink in the airports several years ago, whenever I’d fly in the evening, and especially during the winter.

This copycat Starbucks medicine ball recipe is made with the same ingredients that Starbucks uses, with this exception – I swapped steamed lemonade for fresh lemon juice, plus added a bit more honey to make up for the loss of lemonade sweetness.

I like to make this hot drink whenever someone in our family is feeling rough – especially if they have a sore throat and are congested. The hot tea and honey are soothing and the fresh lemon gives a bright little boost of vitamin C.

This drink actually reminds me of a non-alcoholic Hot Toddy, just with mint tea added. Both drinks are perfect for the cold months and easy to make.

Angled view of a mug of honey citrus mint tea with a slice of lemon

What Is A Medicine Ball Drink?

Medicine Ball tea is a drink that appeared on the Starbucks “secret menu” way back in 2017 and eventually became so popular that they added it to their regular menu.

On the menu, it’s now called “Honey Citrus Mint Tea” but almost everyone knows it as “medicine ball” or “Starbucks cold buster”.

The drink is made of citrus mint tea, peach tranquility tea, lemon, and honey. At Starbucks, they use steamed lemonade but I use fresh lemon juice in my version.

Some swear by the Starbucks Medicine Ball tea for relieving cold and flu symptoms, including soothing a sore throat and decongestion. While it’s certainly not a cure-all when it comes to cold and flu symptoms, hot tea and lemon can help with decongestion, and honey is known to soothe a sore throat.

Even if you’re not feeling under the weather, I find that this honey citrus mint tea is just the perfect drink for chilly winter evenings. Warming, soothing, and it tastes SO GOOD!

Overhead view of medicine ball ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

One reason I love making this Starbucks medicine ball at home is that it requires just 4 ingredients, plus water. Scroll down to the recipe box for the full measurements.

  • Water
  • Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice will always give you the best flavor.
  • Honey – I like to use a good quality local honey.
  • Tea – This warming tea is made with Jade Citrus Mint Tea and Peach Tranquility Tea. I use the exact brand that Starbucks uses in-store.

Does Starbucks Medicine Ball Have Caffeine?

Yes, a Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea does contain caffeine – however, it’s very minimal.

According to Starbucks nutrition data, a 16 ounce Medicine Ball contains 16-25 mg of caffeine. This comes from the Jade Citrus Mint green tea bag.

Compare that to 16 ounces of regular roast coffee, which has 200-300 mg of caffeine depending on the beans and brewing method, and this is a considerable difference.

I don’t like to drink a lot of caffeine once mid-afternoon hits (affects my sleep), so this medicine ball tea drink is a perfect solution, besides being delicious!

A glass mug of Starbucks medicine bal tea

Easy Variations

This medicine ball recipe is pretty standard but there are a few additions you can make:

  • Add peppermint syrup. I know that some people like to order this drink at Starbucks with a pump of peppermint syrup.
  • Add some ginger. For my homemade medicine ball, I like to add a couple slices of fresh ginger to the tea while heating it up and while the tea is steeping. I LOVE spicy ginger!
  • Use lemonade. The original Starbucks version uses “steamed lemonade”, aka lemonade that’s been warmed up. I opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice in my version because it tastes fresher and I don’t regularly have lemonade on hand. But if you do have lemonade, certainly give it a try.
  • Make it sweeter. Depending on my mood, I sometimes stir in a bit more honey than the recipe card calls for. This is especially lovely when using a beautiful local honey. (Of course, you can always adjust to make it less sweet – just add a smaller amount of honey.)
  • Add a fresh lemon wheel. When ready to drink, add a fresh slice of lemon to your mug. This is not only pretty, but it also adds more lemon scent and flavor.
Tea being poured into a glass mug

How to Make a Starbucks Medicine Ball

Here’s how to make this Starbucks copycat recipe at home in just a few minutes.

  • Heat the water. Bring water to almost boiling on the stovetop.
  • Add the lemon and honey. As the water is heating up, stir in the lemon juice and honey.
  • Steep the tea. When water is almost boiling, turn heat down to low. Add the tea bags. Let steep for 2 minutes.
  • Enjoy. Pour the tea into your mug(s). If you want the tea to continue steeping, add the tea bags as well (I always add the tea bags to my mug). Enjoy hot.
A clear mug of Starbucks medicine ball tea

Can I Make This In The Microwave?

Yes, you can make this honey citrus mint tea in the microwave if you want.

Just add the water to your mug and heat until very hot but not boiling. Stir in the lemon juice and honey, then add the tea bags. Steep and then remove the tea bags or leave them in if you want.

I do prefer the stovetop method, however, as it gives me a hotter cup of tea once the steeping is done.

A hand holding a mug of medicine ball tea with lemon slices

Serving Suggestions

For the full benefits of this Starbucks cold buster tea, you should drink it while it’s still hot, or at least very warm. The hot temperature aids in breaking up congestion.

If you want, you can also add a slice of fresh lemon to your tea after it finishes steeping, and add more honey if you want it sweeter.

More Warming Drinks for Winter:

Like this recipe? Save it to Pinterest!

Pinterest image for Starbucks copycat medicine ball tea
A clear mug of honey citrus mint tea

Medicine Ball (Starbucks copycat)

Yield: 1 large drink or 2 smaller drinks
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 5 minutes
total time: 10 minutes
This Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe is just the thing for those chilly months, and when you're feeling under the weather. With citrus mint and peach tea, lemon, and honey, this honey citrus mint tea comes together quickly – it's comforting AND delicious!
4.4 Stars (7 Reviews)



  • In a small saucepan on the stovetop (or in the microwave), heat water to almost boiling. Then turn heat down to low.
  • While heating up, stir lemon juice and honey into the water.
  • After turning the heat down, add the tea bags to the pan (leaving the strings/tags outside the pan). Let steep for 2 minutes.
  • Pour tea into a large mug (or 2 smaller mugs). Add the tea bags to the mug to continue steeping, if desired.


Inspired by the Medicine Ball Tea (now known as Honey Citrus Mint Tea) at Starbucks

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 134kcal Carbohydrates: 35g Protein: 2g Sodium: 27mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 32g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
A clear mug of honey citrus mint tea