Coffee fanatic travels 150,000 miles across the world in attempt to make it to every Starbucks in the world
A coffee fanatic has travelled more than 150,000 miles in a bid to visit every Starbucks in the world.
Mad Rafael Lozano has spent more than £100,000 getting to 11,733 Starbucks outlets in six continents.
But the coffee chain fanboy actually prefers an artisan blend and when he’s not on his mission to visit every store, you’ll find him at independent coffee shops.
Rafael said: “It’s such a fun project. Even though people think it’s a bit crazy I’m going to carry on. I want to tick them all off the list.”
The coffee fanatic started his project in 1997 when there were just 1500 in four countries.
As the chain expanded rapidly, Rafael, from Houston, Texas, visited the UK four times and jetted all over the world to try and keep up with new openings.
In every company owned shop he drinks a caffeinated drink and snaps a selfie or a picture of the storefront.
But since the global coffee powerhouse started closing branches, the 42-year-old computer programmer has been racing to visit stores before their closure and once drank 29 cups in a day.
He once undertook a 25,000 mile round trip to make it to 40 stores after he heard about their closure at the last minute.
His project has also lead him to Hawaii – where he stayed for 30 hours without ever visiting the beach – as well as Egypt, Kuwait and Lebanon.
Even though his project excludes franchised stores he is 4% short of reaching every Starbucks in the United States and Canada alone.
And Rafael has accepted that he might never complete the challenge as the huge multinational will outlive him.
Despite the uniform branding the firm is known for, Rafael sees the unique features of every one.
His favourite is the branch on Duddell Street, Hong Kong because its décor mirrors the style of a traditional Bing Sutt tea house.
Rafael, who has legally changed his name to the one word moniker ‘Winter’, said: “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.
“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.”