An Asian-Mexican Fusion Mexican Hot Chocolate Boba Tea is a new favorite drink created by Robyn Perry.
“This is Boba Tea. I like to call it boba. Some people call it bubble tea. Some people call it Milk Tea. Bobas are the little pearls at the bottom. They are made out of tapioca. The bobas are made out of the tapioca root. It’s a starch,” Perry said.
Her home town is “60% Asian, and that’s what I grew up with.”
Perry buys her tapioca pearls in 8-pound bags of unflavored pearls from Amazon.
“The instructions are usually in Chinese and English, when you get them on Amazon. The pearls are unflavored when you get them. They are just a starch, so you have to make a sugar syrup to give them any flavor,” Perry said.
She makes a mix of honey and a sweetener. Some people will use brown sugar, but she prefers the Pyure brand of stevia.
She makes three primary types of boba tea: Honey Jasmin Boba Tea, Chai Boba Tea and her new creation Mexican Hot Chocolate Boba Tea.
“Add whatever milk of choice. For my chai I prefer to use heavy whipping cream, because it’s more like coffee-ish. For my honey jasmin I tend to use one of the almond milk brands. I like to use the hint-of-honey flavored ones, because it’s more honey flavored. That’s basically it,” Perry said.
The boba pearls are eaten using a spoon or a special boba straw. The pearls are approximately one centimeter in diameter and the straw allows a single pearl through at a time. She prefers to use reusable stainless steel straws.
“The pearls have a sort of squishy texture. When you bite into them they have a honey burst,” Perry said.
She gets her jasmin and chai tea at Meijer.
Perry has always understood boba, which is also called bubble tea, to be a Taiwanese drink. Her versions are inspired from her home town of Fremont, California.
“This one is Mexican hot chocolate flavored, but it’s not hot. It’s inspired by the fact that my home town has both a very high Asian and Latino population, as so a lot of times those mix, where I’m from. So this is my Asian-Latino fusion, a mixture of Mexican hot chocolate and boba tea,” Perry said. “I recalled one time going to a boba shop that had a chili mango boba one. It was really good. Chili mango is a really popular Mexican sweet flavor, you know with cut up pieces of mango with chilies on it, or an ice cream flavor. So that’s really fun.”
She attended California State University East Bay in Hayward for her undergraduate studies and basically grew up in the San Francisco Bay area.
“While I was there it was technically the most ethnically diverse university in the United States,” Perry said. “So I’m kind of used to fusions. That’s why I started making boba at home, because, since high school, if me and my friends would go out, we would go get boba. There are boba shops out there all over the place. The things I miss most about home is the food and my friends.”
Fremont has a majority Asian population. Recent population statistics show the demographic spread of the diverse community to be 58% Asian, 21% white and 13% Hispanic, with a wide mix of other racial and ethnicities making up the balance. The Asian community is also diverse, composed of both recent immigrants and generations of Asian Americans from many countries from southern India to Singapore.
She misses the California boba cafes and regularly makes boba tea for her friends. They have even gone out boba hopping, like some people go bar hopping, but without the alcohol.
“They are basically like coffee shops. At home they will have Asian fusion snacks. They are like snack bars, and they usually have cooked snacks,” Perry said.
During her travels across the country she has seen Bubble Tea cafes popping up in many college towns.
Perry lives in Bowling Green, while she works on her master’s degree in History. Meanwhile, when not studying, she also works at Arlyn’s Good Beer as a bartender.
She’s in the process of submitting applications to doctoral programs, both inside and outside North America.
Her specialties are the Western United States, the cold war atomic age and Asians in popular culture. She is already known as one of the leading experts, in Western countries, in post-war Japanese rock ‘n’ roll from 1952-70.
“That’s the Elvis to Beatles time frame. I’m one of, like four people who know about it in the United States,” Perry said.