starbucks employee with caption 'POV: When i first started working here & a customer asked for a 'medicine ball'' (l&r) starbucks honey tea (c)

@reicy.b/TikTok Starbucks

‘Medicine ball is the most dramatic drink’: Starbucks barista says the ‘medicine ball’ drink doesn’t exist

"During my training, I was told we can't legally call it a 'medicine ball.'"


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Oct 12, 2022   Updated on Nov 28, 2023, 3:37 pm CST

A Starbucks barista shared a public service announcement about the so-called “medicine ball”—namely, it doesn’t exist. Viewers are now weighing in on the drink.

What is a medicine ball from Starbucks?

A “medicine ball” or “cold buster” is actually a hot tea beverage that combines citrus and honey. It was unofficially dubbed “medicine ball” by customers, who believe that it has health benefits when someone has a cold or even COVID-19.

Since the customer-creation drink became so popular, Starbucks decided to officially include it in the menu as Honey Citrus Mint Tea. It contains “green tea with flavors of lemon verbena, candied pineapple, chamomile blossom, and a hint of spearmint served with steamed lemonade and a touch of honey for a tea that comforts from the inside out.”

@reicy.b I had no clue what that was😭😭 #baristaproblems #starbucks #baristatok ♬ original sound – Nasfromthegram

Starbucks barista @reicy.b’s video criticizing customers who order a drink by its unofficial name garnered over 740,000 views on TikTok, where others who have had experience working for the coffee chain are chiming in.

“Medicine ball is the most dramatic drink and for what,” one commenter wrote.

Another, who implied they are a barista, said they call out customers who order the drink by its unofficial name. “Every time I be like, ‘ONE HONEY CITRUS MINT TEA???? anything else for you today,’ because ain’t no medicine here baby,” they said.

“During my training I was told we can’t legally call it a ‘medicine ball’ because that would imply like medical/healing properties,” another claimed.

Other commenters shared their experiences of customers allegedly asking their beverage be made with additional “medicine.”

“When I was on solo someone goes, ‘I need a medicine ball with extra medicine, I need to get rid of whatever I got going on,'” a commenter recalled.

To be clear, the drink does not contain any kind of medication.

How to make the medicine ball tea at home

Wondering “What is equivalent to a Medicine Ball at Starbucks?” so you can make it at home? For this, you would need the Honey Citrus Mint Tea. Heat up the tea and some lemonade until it’s steaming, not boiling, and then steep the tea bags into the liquid. Feel free to sweeten the drink with some extra honey, which is good for the throat.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @reicy.b via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Oct 12, 2022, 11:45 am CDT