Brawn & Brains

Mr Xavier Teo, 41, Founder and Owner of Brawn & Brains Coffee

I love how coffee can improve and have an impact on people’s lives. A good cup of coffee can put a smile on their faces and make them feel better whether they are at work, at home or at play.

When I was growing up, I spent most of my school holidays helping out at my dad’s workshop. My tasks included brewing Kopi O for my dad and his staff during their tea breaks. I remember the robust fragrance of the freshly brewed coffee when I poured hot boiling water over the coffee grounds. The task of boiling coffee was one of the many things that I looked forward to when I had to help out at the workshop instead of being with my friends at the playground or catching guppies at the longkang.

I started drinking coffee at around age seven or eight. I was curious to find out what is in the coffee that got my dad so addicted, he had to drink so much of it. I started sipping coffee without him knowing and did not stopped since.

The idea of starting a cafe came about when my partner – Gwen, and I chanced upon our first shop as we were driving through the Guillemard area. Our unit is at the Old Badminton Hall at Kallang and the building has retained its original structure since the 1950s. It is classic with a high ceiling which is hard to find in Singapore these days. We took a look at the unit, fell in love with it right away and decided to give it a shot to start a place focused on serving freshly roasted coffee and freshly baked pastries.