Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea
This Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea copycat recipe is really easy to make at home. It’s simple combination of Teavana Jade Citrus Mint tea, Teavana Peach Tranquility tea, steamed lemonade and a touch of honey.
What I love about this recipe is, it’s practically identical to the real Starbucks drink which is actually called Honey Citrus Mint Tea. In fact, the exact two Teavana tea bags used to make this Starbucks hot tea are readily available at the store.
Not to mention, this at-home Medicine Ball Tea recipe is perfect for cold and flu season. I guess, there’s a reason some people also call it Sick Tea.
But don’t think you have to have a sore throat or be under the weather to enjoy a cup of this hot tea. It’s really tasty anytime.
So if you’ve been trying to figure out how to make the Medicine Ball Tea drink from Starbucks, you’ve come to the right place.
Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea: Recipe Overview
- This copycat recipe makes the equivalent of a 16 ounce grande Honey Citrus Mint Tea (Medicine Ball) at Starbucks.
- Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea is a hot tea drink that combines Teavana Jade Citrus Mint green tea, Teavana Peach Tranquility herbal tea, steamed lemonade and honey blend syrup.
- Both blends of Teavana tea bags are sold at the grocery store so it’s easy to recreate this Starbucks drink at home.
- This hot tea was originally a “Starbucks secret menu” drink so it goes by many names including Medicine Ball, Sick Tea, Medicine Bomb and Cold Buster.
- To order a Medicine Ball at Starbucks, order a Honey Citrus Mint Tea. On the app, go to “hot tea” then “green teas” to find it.
- Make note, this Starbucks tea contains caffeine since it has green tea in it.
- At Starbucks, a grande costs about $3, has 130 calories and 30 grams of sugar. This homemade Medicine Ball recipe saves money and you can control the amount of added sugar by substituting in sugar-free lemonade and pure honey.
Wondering what’s in a Medicine Ball Tea? Here are the exact ingredients a Starbucks barista combines to make a grande size drink.
- 2 pumps Honey Blend syrup
- 1 Teavana Jade Citrus Mint tea bag (green tea)
- 1 Teavana Peach Tranquility tea bag (herbal tea)
- 8 ounces near-boiling water
- 8 ounces steamed lemonade
Ingredients for Copycat Recipe
Honey Blend Syrup A couple pumps of Starbucks Honey Blend syrup goes into each cup of this hot tea.
However, before Starbucks added Honey Blend to its syrup line-up, Medicine Balls were made with a packet of Billy Bee honey squeezed into it.
For this recipe you can buy a bottle of honey-flavored syrup, make homemade honey simple syrup, or just use honey straight from the jar.
Teavana Tea As I mentioned before, the two blends of Teavana tea that Starbucks uses for this recipe are actually sold in stores. But you can also buy them online.
Since they’re readily available, I highly recommend using identical Teavana tea bags for best results. If you substitute in another brand just make sure one is a minty green tea and the other is herbal tea.
Lemonade Starbucks baristas make this drink using equal amounts of filtered hot water and steamed lemonade. The thing is, Starbucks lemonade is a bit more concentrated than lemonade you buy from the store which is more diluted.
So you may want to play around with the proportions of lemonade to water. Personally, I find using a two to one ratio of lemonade to water works well.
Peppermint Syrup (Optional) Did you know Starbucks has peppermint syrup year-round? While this flavored syrup is typically used in seasonal drinks like Peppermint Mocha or Peppermint Hot Chocolate, some people like to customize Medicine Ball Tea with peppermint syrup.
So if you want to make your homemade Honey Citrus Mint Tea even more minty, add some peppermint syrup. Here’s my easy homemade peppermint syrup recipe.
Hint, all you need is peppermint extract, sugar and water!
As you can imagine, the method a Starbucks barista uses to make a Medicine Ball is quick and easy.
To make Starbucks Medicine Ball tea, put honey syrup, one Jade Citrus Mint tea bag and one Peach Tranquility tea bag into a 16 ounce cup. Heat water to near boiling, steam the lemonade, and pour both into the cup. Steep the tea for a few minutes, then remove the bags. Add peppermint syrup if desired.
Here’s a closer look at each step.
Step 1: Add honey to a 16 ounce cup.
Starbucks puts in 2 pumps of honey syrup which is the same as 2 tablespoons. Otherwise, add desired amount of regular honey. Like Starbucks, I prefer to put honey in the cup first, so it dissolves when the hot water is added.
Step 2: Put tea bags in the cup.
For Medicine Ball Tea, place one Teavana Jade Citrus Mint tea bag and one Teavana Peach Tranquility tea bag into the cup.
Step 3: Heat water to near-boiling.
This recipe contains green tea and this type of tea should not be steeped in boiling water. If you have an electric tea kettle like my Cuisinart PerfectTemp, use the “green tea” button.
Additionally, Starbucks makes this tea with half water, half lemonade. Since store-bought lemonade is less concentrated than Starbucks lemonade, I suggest using more lemonade than water.
Step 4: Steam lemonade.
While the water is heating up, steam some lemonade. You can do this with a stove, microwave, electric frother or steam wand on an espresso machine.
See below for tips to steam lemonade.
Step 5: Steep the tea and then remove the tea bags.
Pour the hot water and steamed lemonade over the tea bags and honey. Let the tea steep for a few minutes.
You can use the steep times suggested on the Teavana packages and remove the Jade Citrus Mint after two minutes and the Peach Tranquility after four minutes.
Tips to Steam Lemonade
When Starbucks steams lemonade, two things happen—it’s heated and aerated. This makes the lemonade frothy and bubbly.
If you just want to heat the lemonade, simply warm some up on the stove or in the microwave. Heat it up to just under boiling.
However, if those bubbles are a must-have, you can shake the lemonade in a jar or use a handheld frother to achieve that effect. Just be careful with the hot lemonade.
Another method to steam lemonade is to use an electric frother like this Breville Milk Frother.
However, my favorite way to steam lemonade is with the steam wand on my Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine. That’s how Starbucks does it.
Tips to Make a Healthier Medicine Ball Tea
Starbucks has sugar-free drinks, but a grande size Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea isn’t one of them. It contains 30 grams of sugar and has 130 calories.
One benefit of making this copycat recipe at home is that you can reduce the amount of added sugar if you want.
For example, select a sugar-free lemonade and use pure honey in place of syrup.
Another possibility is to forgo lemonade altogether and simply steep the two tea bags in hot water and squeeze in fresh lemon and honey to taste.
That’s it. It’s really delicious and definitely brings a little temporary relief to a cold or flu.
Questions You May Have
A grande, 16-ounce Starbucks Medicine Ball contains 130 calories, according to Starbucks nutrition information. Furthermore, it has 32 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of which are sugars.
Yes, a Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea contains caffeine, although it’s minimal. For instance, a 16 ounce Medicine Ball contains 16-25 mg of caffeine according to Starbucks nutrition data. Specifically, the caffeine comes from the Jade Citrus Mint green tea bag. The other tea bag is herbal and therefore is caffeine-free.
To get a Medicine Ball tea at Starbucks you need to order a Honey Citrus Mint Tea. That’s the real name of this drink. To get a Medicine Ball using the Starbucks app, first go to the “hot teas” section. Then, find Honey Citrus Mint in the list of “green teas.”
Sipping on a cup of tea with honey is an age-old way to soothe a sore throat. In fact, honey can suppress a cough. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, honey is as effective as the main ingredient in over-the-counter cough suppressants. That being said, a Starbucks Medicine Ball does not contain much honey. Therefore, it’s hard to imagine that this Cold Buster (Sick Tea, Flu Bomb, Medicine Bomb) can help all that much. Nonetheless, this hot tea may temporarily soothe soothe a sore throat.
Starbucks lemonade is specifically made for Starbucks and is not available for resale.
Related Starbucks Tea Recipes
- Starbucks Peach Green Tea Lemonade Recipe
- Quick & Easy Matcha Lemonade like Starbucks
- Homemade Starbucks Iced Green Tea Lemonade Recipe
- 10 ounces lemonade
- 5 ounces water
- 1 bag Teavana Jade Citrus Mint tea
- 1 bag Teavana Peach Tranquility tea
- 2 tablespoons honey syrup
- peppermint syrup (optional)
For the Honey Syrup
For this recipe you can either buy honey syrup, make homemade honey simple syrup or just stir in regular honey to taste.
To Make Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea
- In a 16 ounce mug, add honey simple syrup (or honey) and both tea bags.
- Heat water to near-boiling temperature. If you have a temperature controlled electric tea kettle, heat water to 175 °F.
- Meanwhile, steam lemonade (such as Simply Lemonade) using a steam wand on an espresso machine like Starbucks. Otherwise, warm up lemonade using stove or microwave to a near-boil.
- Pour hot water and steamed lemonade over honey and tea bags. Steep for 2-5 minutes. (See recipe notes below.)
- Remove tea bags. Stir in peppermint syrup to taste for additional minty flavor (optional) . Or add 1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract.
- Heating Water & Lemonade: If you are not using an electric kettle and are not steaming the lemonade in a frother or with a steam wand, simply combine water and lemondade and heat on stove or in microwave.
- Steeping Two Types of Tea Bags Together: Teavana Jade Citrus Mint instructions recommend 175°F water and 2 minute steep time. Peach Tranquility is 185°F and 5 minutes. When making homemade Medicine Ball, remove the green tea bag first around 2 minutes and then remove the herbal tea bag after steeping it 5 minutes.
- Starbucks Lemonade vs Store-bought Lemonade: Starbucks makes Medicine Ball Tea with equal portions of hot water and steamed lemonade. Since store-bought lemonade is more diluted than Starbucks lemonade I recommend making this drink recipe with 2 parts lemonade to 1 part water.
- Reduced Sugar Medicine Ball Variation: Steep tea bags in hot water only, no lemonade. Add honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
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