Winter, a 42-year-old coffee fanatic from Houston, Texas, is on a mission to have coffee at every Starbucks coffee-shop in the world. Given that Starbucks operates on almost every corner of every street of every city in America, not to mention thousands of shops around the world, Winter seems to have set himself an impossible goal. Yet, he’s already been to 11,676 Starbucks branches, and he won’t rest until he’s been to each and every one in the world – that’s at least 10,000 more to go.
Born Rafael Lozano, he legally changed his name to ‘Winter’ because he didn’t want his credit history confused with his father’s. Over the years, Winter, a computer programmer, has spent over $160,000 on Starbucks coffee and on traveling to cafes across 38 different countries – including shops in London, New York, Paris, Egypt, Kuwait, Turkey, Japan, and Lebanon. That’s about 25 percent of his earnings and three months of travel a year on coffee runs.
He’s a self-proclaimed caffeine addict, who at one point, used to guzzle 29 cups of coffee a day. Interestingly, he actually prefers artisanal coffee from independent stores, but he appreciates that Starbucks tastes the same everywhere. His first visit was in 1997, and he almost immediately decided that he had to go see all the branches in the world. “It was a completely random idea that came to me when I was in Plano, Texas while discussing the growth of Starbucks in the greater Dallas area,” he said.