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A Man Is Trying To Visit Every Starbucks On Earth And It Is A Gloriously Insane Plan

This post contains four shocking revelations.

Posted on October 1, 2014, at 6:37 a.m. ET

This is Winter (he has legally changed his name from Rafael Lozano). He is a man with a plan.


And that plan is to visit every Starbucks on the planet.

Shocking revelation #1: He's spent more than £100,000 on his quest so far.


Shocking revelation #2: When he started his project in 1997 there were just 1,500 Starbucks outlets in four countries. Now there are 11,733 in six continents.


Shocking revelation #3 (perhaps the most shocking of all): He actually prefers artisanal coffee from independent shops.


Yes, really. What's going on with this guy?

Originally it was just a hypothetical question. I wondered: 'Would it be possible to visit them all?' Most people would leave it as a hypothetical question but I figured, why not? It seemed entirely possible and as it meant travelling round the country it became a lot of fun. I became a freelance computer programmer around the same time, and although it wasn't to pursue the Starbucks mission, it certainly gave me more freedom to carry on with the challenge.

Seriously, this guy's commitment is amazing.


Ever since Starbucks started closing branches down, he's been racing to visit stores. On one occasion he heard about 40 stores being closed at the last minute so he undertook a 25,000-mile round trip.

This is a man who once drank 29 cups of coffee IN A DAY. A man who stayed for 30 hours in Hawaii without ever visiting the beach, and has visited Egypt, Kuwait, and Lebanon in the name of completing his mission.

He's not even visiting the franchise stores, but he's still 4% short of reaching every Starbucks in the United States and Canada alone.

Now follows shocking revelation #4: He's accepted that he might never complete the challenge as the huge multinational will probably outlive him. But HE'S DOING IT ANYWAY.

They reached their peak in 2007 when they opened more than 290 stores a week and it used to consume all my free time. Then they had an implosion when they announced the closure of 600 stores and since then the growth has slowed dramatically. So I've been desperately trying to get to all the ones due to close before they are lost forever.

Apparently his favourite is the branch on Duddell Street, Hong Kong. Its décor mirrors the style of a traditional Bing Sutt tea house.


Here is his website. This man is brilliant.

This post originally referred to Winter by his birthname: Rafael Lozano. He has since got in touch with BuzzFeed News to tell us he wants to be referred to as Winter, which is his name on his driver license and passport. So: Winter it is.

The story of why is kind of complicated - basically it all began, in his words, when he was: "18-20 years old, a kid, and I was denied some loan or account, and I discovered that my credit report included accounts that belong to my father, some opened when I was just a child, or not even born, which raised a red flag. I could have gone with JR, but my mind works in unusual ways, so my creative solution was to change my name entirely."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.