Man Tries Visiting Every Starbucks in the World

Software programmer wants to see them all
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2014 4:29 PM CDT
Coffee Fan Spends $100K Visiting Every Starbucks
In this Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, photo, a cappuccino sits in a Starbucks store in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Hey, why not? A freelance software programmer has spent over $100,000 in an ongoing attempt to visit every Starbucks on the planet, the Telegraph reports. The notion came to Winter (formerly Rafael Lozano) as he sat in a Starbucks in Texas in 1997. "My original motive was simply to accomplish something unique," he says. But he's found "many joys" along the way, including "the photography and the puzzle-like challenge of my mission." Ironically, while he respects Starbucks for amenities like clean bathrooms and WiFi, he's not crazy about the product: "Unless I am checking a new store off my list, I would not go there for the coffee," he says. In his free time he savors the artisanal coffee at independent shops, BuzzFeed reports.

His website says he's visited 96% of Starbucks in Canada and the US, and traveled as far as New Zealand, the Bahamas, Jordan, France, Taiwan, and Lebanon, Business Insider reports. He has also downed 29 cups of coffee in a single day, and spent $1,400 flying to British Columbia to visit a Starbucks before it shut down. His freelance work gives him the freedom to pursue the Starbucks dream, but he's only visited 11,700 of the chain's 17,000 stores so far: "As you can imagine, Starbucks is not going anywhere," he says. "I can see myself visiting new stores as an old man." As for the name Winter, he apparently invented it because his credit report "included accounts that belong to my father." He could have used "JR," he says, but "my mind works in unusual ways, so my creative solution was to change my name entirely." (Read about the CIA's own "secretive" Starbucks.)

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