NEW YORK – John Winter Smith has a dream: to visit every single Starbucks coffee shop on the planet.
During his five-year, high-caffeine journey, Winter, as he likes to be called, has made a pilgrimage to 3,067 out of 3,450 cafes in North America.
And the Texan's total is growing by the minute.
This week, the 30-year-old adventurer is drinking his way through the New York metro area, where the sheer volume of Starbucks stores -- 149 in the five boroughs alone -- has made mass coffee consumption a serious challenge.
"In New York City, they build them so quickly that on each trip the number I can visit is limited not by time, but by the amount of coffee I can drink," he said.
"I have to drink espresso shots because I can't even drink a half a cup before I reach the next Starbucks."
He managed to hit 20 stores in Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens over the past few days before venturing to Westchester County yesterday.
While visiting one Starbucks, Winter introduced himself to the manager and whipped out an article about his travels. His self-promotion earned him a free cup of java.
Winter, who works as a computer programmer on a contract basis, has the flexibility and time to travel. To complete his mission, Winter plans to travel overseas to countries like Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Israel and Saudi Arabia -- when he saves up enough money.