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He's No Fan of Starbucks but Has Been to 15K of Them

Meet Winter of 'Starbucks Everywhere'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2019 3:54 PM CDT
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This June 26, 2019, photo shows a the Starbucks sign outside a Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Newser) – "I don't enjoy the taste of Starbucks anymore. It's either tolerable or OK, but it's never good or great coffee anymore." So says the man who is on a quest to visit every Starbucks in the world. Born Rafael Lozano, he goes by simply Winter, and he documents his journey, which he's been on since 1997, at Starbucks Everywhere. But he actually prefers independent coffeehouses, though he has little time to visit them these days, seeing as there are 30,000 Starbucks locations across the globe and he's so far visited "just" 15,061 of them. When he first decided to embark upon what he calls his "extreme hobby," there were just 1,500 or so Starbucks stores, and he would enthusiastically drive or fly to new locations each weekend. In recent years, however, he tells CNN the hobby has gotten a bit less exciting.

Plus, at this point, he realizes it's "technically impossible" for him to hit every store; still, he aims to get to as many as possible. He notes that when he first started, his Plano, Texas, Starbucks was a second home for him—and he's continued making friends as he visits Starbucks stores in the most far-flung locations. "Starbucks kind of gave me my big first circle of friends," he says, which is significant for him because he'd previously found it difficult to make such connections. As for what he orders, he says he actually hasn't tried everything on the menu, but he usually goes for a simple drip coffee or espresso. Last year, the then-46-year-old computer programmer, who works as a contractor and thus can travel freely, told Delish he'd spent at least $150,000 on the hobby so far. Since 2012, he's also been documenting the third wave coffeehouses he's discovered. (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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