is running a story that interested me… about one John “Winter” Smith:

Winter is on a mission to visit every Starbucks in the world. On this day alone, he has mapped out four more stores around Phoenix and two in El Paso that he needs to hit. A contract computer programmer, Winter works just enough to fund his obsession, for which he has laid out specific rules: He stops only in Starbucks that the company owns… eliminating the more than 3,000 licensed spots in places like airports and grocery stores… and he has to drink caffeinated coffee in each. In the seven years that the 32-year-old has been on his quest, he’s been to 4,122 stores in North America (including some that have since closed), 114 in Britain, and 53 in Japan. Starbucks operates 4,025 stores in the U.S. and 846 internationally. So Winter is doing pretty well. Except for this one problem: The company opens an average of 10.2 new, company-operated Starbucks a week around the world and has no plans to slow down”

Gotta show this to my wife Donna, who thinks I drink too much of the stuff.

Personally, I’ve found that I generally don’t like Starbuck’s regular coffee as much as I do some others… “Seattle’s Best” as an example.  when I do Starbucks, I generally get a Mocha… perhaps a few times a month. Their regular bews tend to need the help.

The Seatle’s Best French Roast on the other hand, is flat-out astounding for it’s richness. File it right next to a loud explosion under one’s bed for waking one up in the morning. 

I’ve found that I don’t buy the Seatle’s mixed stuff very often… with their regular brews being so good, you hardly need it.

Only two problems; Seattle’s Best only has 130 stores, or so last I knew… I’ve only ever seen three… one in Toronto, just off Bloor in the subway (Last I was up there the place had closed for the day, darn it!) and in Rochester, inside Midtown Plaza… about three minute’s walk from this desk….apparently a licenced outlet.. and one I found in the Pasadena area when I was out that way some years ago.

The other problem is that the place as bought up by Starbucks some time ago, which makes me wonder if I’ll be getting my usual French Roast here in Rochester much longer. Starbucks claims they’ll continue to produce the seperate branding.

I’ve tried Torrefazione Italia, as well… they have a few outlets on the New York Thruway, and they’re pretty good, but Starbucks has snapped them up, too. A decidedly Italian twist to that one.

But can you imagine the buzzing noise coming off this guy as he makes his journeys? If I’m Starbuck’s I’m hiring the guy both as promo material, and as a kind of Quality Control person.