Even when I'm feeling unwell, I often still want my daily Starbucks coffee fix, or at least something hot to soothe my throat.

And the last thing I want is to have to think about it very hard. 

That's why I made this list of the 9 best options to beat that cold, and some tips on keeping the germs at home and ordering Starbucks straight from bed. 

1. Honey Citrus Mint Tea (Medicine Ball)

Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea
Medicine Ball Standard Ingredients
  • Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea
  • Jade Citrus Mint Green
  • steamed lemonade
  • little bit of honey

The general consensus among my friends when it came to the Starbucks Medicine Ball drink is that everyone has heard of it, but nobody really knows what it is. 

This warming infusion is made with two separate teas combined into one delicious drink.[1] 

The Medicine Ball is an excellent cold buster as it comes with soothing ingredients that are not only great for my immune system and the common cold, but it's also absolutely delicious.

In fact, whenever I feel that tickle in my throat of an oncoming cold, I immediately begin self-care with a Medicine Ball.

The only thing I find more nurturing when I have a sore throat is my grandma's homemade chicken noodle soup. 

2. Mint Majesty

Starbucks Mint Majesty Tea

When I'm looking for something caffeine-free, I know I can't go wrong with the Mint Majesty. It's a caffeine-free herbal hot tea that's a blend of mint (both spearmint and peppermint) and lemon verbena.

It warms me right up, and since it has zero calories or caffeine, I can order a Venti cup with no issues at all and sip throughout the evening. 

I enjoy this one so much that I try to keep a stash on-hand at home. It's available in sachet packs at some Starbucks locations and all Teavana stores. 

Tip From A Barista: For an extra minty kick you can add the peppermint syrup.

3. Chai Tea

Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte with Cinnamon

Many people believe that the catechins in chai tea can ward off a cold with their antiviral properties. 

I don't know if that's true or wishful thinking, but when I have a scratchy throat, I know that chai tea both calms and soothes my body. 

Chai tea is a black tea infused with cardamom, cinnamon, warm clove, and ginger notes. It's relatively bold in flavor and would do well with a touch of honey to add some sweetness. 

The Starbucks chai tea comes with no calories. The barista will ask if I want one bag or two. I recommend going for the double tea bag chai for extra boldness and twice the catechins!

4. Peach Tranquility Tea

Starbucks Peach Tranquility Tea

Peach Tranquility is not sweetened (as is), but the slight fruity-ness of the tea brings just the right amount of flavor. 

Not only is this blend caffeine-free, but it's also made with chamomile blossoms, lemon verbena, rose hips, candied pineapple, and peach.

It's a warm and soothing drink that got me through a recent sinus infection. When everything tasted unappetizing to me, this tea was my crutch that got me through. 

This is another Starbucks tea that I like to keep on hand at home, and it's available in most major grocery stores or you can even buy the Starbucks Teavana Tea Sachets online!

Tip From A Barista: Like any other Starbucks Peach options, you can choose to go with one bag or two. I like a lot of flavor, so I usually go with two and customize by adding a bit of honey. 

5. Jade Citrus Mint Brewed Tea

Starbucks Jade Citrus Mint Tea

Another fantastic tea, the Jade Citrus Mint Tea, is excellent for people like me who love the taste of Starbucks peppermint drinks. I reach for this one when I'm looking for just a tiny bit of caffeine, as a Grande contains about 40mg. 

It's made with a blend of green tea, lemongrass, spearmint, and lemon verbena. Like with the other Starbucks teas, I just love adding in some honey for a touch of sweetness. 

This particular beverage is refreshing, citrusy, and doesn't contain any calories. It's the type of beverage I like even when I'm not feeling under the weather.

6. Starbucks Royal English Breakfast Tea

Starbucks Royal English Breakfast Tea

It's pretty evident from my selections that I often turn to tea instead of coffee when I'm under the weather. Starbucks Royal English Breakfast Tea is a nice addition to my sick-days. 

Containing zero calories, this particular beverage is a time-honored classic made with high-grown full leaves. It's robust in flavor and is the perfect beverage to customize, too. 

The Royal English Breakfast Tea gives me a little boost in the morning, but I like that it only has 40mg of caffeine.[2]

Tip From A Barista: I sometimes like to add a pump of my favorite syrup (vanilla) and a splash of milk or cream.

7. Steamed Apple Juice

Starbucks Steamed Apple Juice

Apple juice itself is already filled with loads of vitamin C to boost my immune system when it needs it,  but the steamed apple juice from Starbucks takes it to another level that is easy on my throat and warms me, too. 

It comes with a plethora of health benefits, from helping with heart health to relieving asthma symptoms, and it's also excellent if you're nursing a cold.[3]

I especially appreciate that this particular steamed apple juice is the fact that it's also made with 100% fresh apple juice and not from concentrate.

This is also a great choice for when my kids are sick and not feeling like eating anything. It's sweet enough to feel like an indulgence. 

8. Passion Coldbuster Tea

Starbucks Cold Buster Tea

Like the Medicine Ball, this special elixir feels like it's made to boost health, and it tastes good, too!

The Passion Coldbuster Tea isn't on the regular menu, but rather on the Starbucks secret menu. I keep a screenshot of the ingredients on my phone for easy access when I want to order this tea.

It's the best way to make you feel better as it has both antioxidants and anti-microbial effects and can relieve stress and insomnia.

My favorite part is the addition of steamed lemonade. It's almost like an elevated, hot version of the Arnold Palmer. 

How To Order This Secret Menu Drink?
  • Ask barista for one bag of Passion Tango and one bag of Emperor's Clouds & Mist tea. Then, ask for half hot water and half steamed lemonade. Finish it with a touch of honey.

9. Emperor’s Clouds And Mist

Starbucks Emperors Cloud and Mist Tea

A classic, this is pretty much a hug in tea form. Made with green tea that has been smoked, it has a subtly sweet taste and comes with zero calories.

The Emperor's Clouds and Mist sounds like a fancy drink from the secret menu, but it's really just one of Starbucks Teavana teas, and is notably the most authentic Chinese-style green tea that the coffee chain carries. 

A Grande only has 16mg of caffeine, so I pretty much consider it negligible. The tea itself is pretty plain, so I usually add one packet of honey for a bit of sweetness. 

How To Order Starbucks At-Home

When I'm sick, the last thing I want to do is share the germs. Here are the best ways to get that Starbucks drink quickly while resting at home.

  • 1
    Download the Starbucks App from the store app [4], and order from there. Ask a friend to pick up your beverage and drop it by. (Pro tip: pay for your friend's drink, too!)
  • 2
    Order Starbucks through DoorDash. 
  • 3
    Choose "Contactless Delivery" when ordering through UberEats. 
Barista HQ Note: When using DoorDash or UberEats (the only delivery services officially linked to Starbucks), please be aware that Star Rewards cannot be earned or redeemed.

Common Healthy Starbucks Drink Questions

What drink at Starbucks is good for nausea?

The Iced Golden Ginger Drink at Starbucks is good for nausea. Some people find peppermint tea to be helpful as well. 

What drink from Starbucks helps a sore throat?

The Starbucks Medicine Ball or Steamed Apple Juice are both good for a sore throat. The key is to order something warm and soothing.

How much is Starbucks Medicine Ball?

A 12 oz Starbucks Medicine Ball will start at $3.50 and can be as high as $5 based on location. 

Can pregnant women drink Medicine Ball from Starbucks when sick?

It is not advised for pregnant women to drink a Medicine Ball from Starbucks. The Jade Citrus Mint tea used contains lemongrass, which is not recommended during pregnancy as it can cause uterine contractions.

Conclusion

Even when feeling under the weather, I like knowing that there are still plenty of options for me to choose from at my local Starbucks. 

My top two favorite Starbucks drinks when sick are the Medicine Ball and the Steamed Apple Juice. I often order both, because the Medicine Ball is toasty warm and soothes my throat, and the Steamed Apple Juice gives me a boost of vitamin C to help with my recovery. 

References:

1. https://popularask.net/does-starbucks-medicine-ball-have-a-lot-of-sugar/

2. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/446/hot
3. https://www.wellandgood.com/is-apple-juice-good-for-you/
4. https://www.starbucks.com/rewards/mobile-apps/

Karmy Widjaja

Author

Karmy Widjaja
Karmy Widjaja, holding a degree in Hospitality Administration, combines her academic background with a profound passion for the world of coffee. Her work is enriched with a wealth of insights, not only about the art of coffee making but also about the broader aspects of the coffee industry. Her quest for coffee perfection is a central theme in her engaging articles, as she continues to explore the vibrant coffee scene in Perth. And when it's time for a coffee break? Karmy's all about a laid-back flat white with almond milk – it's her go-to for a tasty coffee kick.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... flat white with almond milk.

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