Out of all the brands of shisha tobacco that I have tried, Starbuzz was one of the first. If you look back, in the past ten years, shisha tobacco selection has grown exponentially. In that time, we have seen countless flavors and many different brands to choose from. Some have come and gone, but most have stayed to establish a market.

I remember that when I first started smoking nargile, I had only one brand to sample, Al Fakher. While they have a large flavor selection, they all have similar base characteristics, and also I found Al Fakher to be a bit too strong for my tastes. Starbuzz was the second shisha tobacco brand that was made available to me where I grew up. I remember this being such big news, as it had less nicotine and offered new flavors to try. For the next few years, I made my samplings of Starbuzz and their “new” line of shisha. While I found some flavors to be pretty strange, overall they provided what I was always looking for with hookah, something mild and enjoyable.

Many years have passed since those discovery days, and since then I have tried many brands and many different shisha flavors. Starbuzz has also grown and evolved since those days. Since 2005, Starbuzz has been making shisha tobacco right here in the USA, and their base of operations is in California. They have had some very famous flavors over the years, including the infamous Blue Mist and Lebanese Bombshell. Another one of their all time greats is Pirate’s Cave. Pirate’s Cave is a refreshing tropical flavor from Starbuzz, and one of their most popular flavors.

The cut of Starbuzz is an interesting one. I find it to be a mix of a couple different characteristics. The cut is both stringy and big. What I mean by that is that their leaves are pretty large still, but they are cut vertically down the stems. This leaves a stringy characteristic that makes it kind of difficult to pack smaller bowls without tearing some of the leaves apart, but this is not that big of a deal. The cut also tends to be a bit dryer than other brands. There is very little excess juice in Starbuzz batches, and the shisha juice seems to oddly soak into the leaves. The smell of Pirate’s Cave is a very tropical and fruity experience. Hints of fruits such as mango and coconut are present, but the smell that stands out the most is a lime margarita smell. With that smell comes a very appropriate flavor profile. The taste is a bit artificial, but I find this to be the case with most Starbuzz flavors; I think it is related to the type of glycerin they use, but I am not so sure. The cloud output is pretty big, but with Starbuzz I tend to get a strange and unpleasant buzz from trying to produce really big clouds, so I try to keep the temperature lower. For this flavor, I used two Ecocha coals out of my Lotus and Samsaris setup, and a Dream Hose. I am sure that with a tighter draw hose, I could get huge clouds.

All in all, this is one of the few Starbuzz flavors I still pick up. It is both refreshing and smooth, but also unique, and I love that in a shisha tobacco. If you have any Starbuzz available where you live, definately pick this flavor up and try it! On a sidenote, another reason I like this flavor is because the name reminds me of where I grew up, in a place called Pirate’s Cove! For ten years, Starbuzz has been perfecting their shisha tobacco, and I think they have found a true classic with Pirate’s Cave!