Getting to know Xavier and Gwen - Founders of Brawn & Brains Coffee.
How did the journey of Brawn & Brains Coffee start?
Brawn and Brains Coffee Singapore began its journey in 2013, located in the historical Singapore Badminton Hall along 100 Guillemard Road. The business was founded by Xavier and Gwen with the vision of becoming one of Singapore's leading and established coffee roasters, providing high-quality coffee and an excellent customer service experience to both local and international consumers alike, with a strong and trustworthy reputation.
We began with a small coffee shop of less than 500 square feet, aiming to provide freshly roasted coffee, pastries, and sandwiches that are easily accessible to customers from all walks of life. In late 2014, we were fortunate to expand and move to a larger space within the same building, which became our flagship store. In 2017, Brawn & Brains Coffee took part in the Singapore Coffee Festival, where we presented hand-brewed filter coffee and coffee beer produced for us by our friends at Rye & Pint Brewery. In 2018, we moved our micro-roastery to a certified and licensed roastery in Mandai, where we achieved success by winning the Bronze award at the Australian International Coffee Awards in 2019, followed by a Silver in 2020.
Last year, in 2022, our flagship store at Guillemard closed temporarily while the Old Badminton Hall underwent upgrading works. We opened our second café at 16 Hamilton Road, in addition to our other stores at 218 East Coast Road and BB Bakery at 673 Geylang Road. To date, we are proud to see all of our locations reflect the hallmark of Brawn & Brains Coffee Roaster's brand - great coffee, good food, and excellent service, where friends and family gather to celebrate and be merry.
Can you share more about Brawn & Brains Coffee's approach to sourcing and roasting coffee?
We are grateful for the opportunity to build relationships with farm owners from Central America, which enables us to directly trade with them. This allows for direct contact and collaboration between us, the coffee roasters, the farm owners, and their teams at origin. We are able to discuss topics such as harvesting and fermentation, but this also provides us with "insider knowledge" about the real issues that the farm is facing, such as labor, climate change, and supply chain issues. We use this information to bring the coffee from origin to Singapore with greater care, showcasing the best of each coffee to our local community and coffee lovers worldwide.
We are devoted to providing our clients with the best possible coffee quality. Thus, we are also privileged to establish connections with a few local green coffee distributors who are knowledgeable and experienced in sourcing beans from a variety of regions. This helps us trace each coffee back to its source and ensure that the green coffee we use is of the highest quality.
Our approach to roasting combines technical proficiency and sensory evaluation with the aim of creating a well-balanced, flavourful cup that brings out the best of each coffee from different origins and varietals.
What was the inspiration for Brawn & Brains Coffee to decide to put coffees into the convenient capsule format?
Brawn & Brains Coffee offers coffee capsules because they make the brewing process easier and more convenient for customers. Coffee capsules are pre-packaged, single-serve portions of coffee that come in a variety of origins and roasts, similar to whole coffee beans. Capsule coffee also eliminates the need for coffee grinders, filters, and other coffee-making equipment, simplifying the brewing process for customers and enabling them to enjoy great-tasting coffee in a simple manner with consistent flavour and strength.
Coffee is fuel to get us moving throughout the day, especially in the morning. What is your daily morning ritual like?
Do a quick stretch, walk the dogs, brew a quick coffee to start the day (usually a V60 pour-over), set our intentions for the day/week/month, before heading over to the bakery/cafe/roastery.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future of Brawn & Brains as a brand?
This year, 2023, marks our 10th-year anniversary, and we are incredibly proud to have been able to continue serving our community and customers, many of whom have become friends over the years. We remain humble and thankful for the opportunity to grow even further this year with the addition of two new outlets.
Our core values have remained the same since the day we started: offering high-quality coffees sourced sustainably from different origins, freshly roasted, and excellent customer service. We are excited about our plans to expand beyond Singapore and are also investing in automation machines to improve and raise our roastery's productivity, as well as collaborating with other brands in the near future.