Last I checked, in America it's referred to as "bolba." In Taiwan it's called "pearl milk tea," and comparing it to it's counterpart in America is like comparing apples and oranges. Granted, I haven't tried every bolba place in America, but when I used to drink it in L.A. all you could get were the big gelatinous balls in some sort of a fruity shake drink. Here you have so many more choices! You can get little balls, big balls, pudding, herbal jelly, gelatinous coconut, gelatinous stuff that I can't identify, and so many other interesting gelatinous things (Taiwanese people like eating and drinking things that are gelatinous). And usually these things are added to actual tea (milk is optional). In my three years in Taiwan, I've drunk a lot of different kinds of pearl milk tea, but none are as good as this place:
What makes this place special? They don't just use regular gelatinous balls; they use gelatinous balls soaked in brown sugar! These pearls are kept heated and simmering in gooey brown sugar, and then a generous spoonful of them is ladled into the cup. Then they pour mostly milk with just a touch of tea over these sweet gelatinous balls of sugary goodness. Needless to say, there's always a line in front of this humble little tea cart. I'm not sure of the name because I can't read Chinese, but if you want to try it for yourself just go to Gongguan in Taipei and look for the tea vendor on the corner with an old man's face on the sign. I highly recommend it!