We first met master roaster Ernest Igual in 2006 when as roaster for Campos Coffee they took out the inaugural Golden Bean Roasting Award. Around the same time, Sam Gabrielian was forging inroads into specialty coffee. It was around this time that Ernest and Sam crossed paths and as fate would have it, this year Ernest has joined Gabriel Coffee as their head roaster and operations manager.
Ernest is now regarded as one of Australia’s most experienced and knowledgeable coffee roasters, so Gabriel Coffee is very lucky to have him on board.
Amongst opening a new factory, reviewing their supply lines and making further improvements, Ernest has found the time to participate, along with 40 other bike riders, in the Mater Foundation’s New South Wales Smiddy Challenge to raise vital funds for cancer research.
The Smiddy challenge was a four day bike ride departing and returning to Sydney, which covered 600 km of ground.
Ernest said the bike ride was challenging but enjoyable at the same time.
“Whenever anyone struggled on the challenge, there was always someone to give words of encouragement or a push up the hill, even though the other person was also struggling,” he said. “The struggle was really symbolic of what the Smiddy Challenge stands for.”
The Smiddy Challenge honours the memory of Adam Smiddy, who passed away to an aggressive cancer in 2006, aged just 26.
More than $3 million has been raised for cancer research and support services since.
“Like everyone, I know people who have been touched by cancer,” Ernest said. “The New South Wales Smiddy Challenge is an all-encompassing cancer cause that I strongly support and believe in.
“I invite everyone to join the next Smiddy Challenge and donate to this meaningful cause, because together we can make a difference in the fight against cancer.”
For more information or to donate, visit: www.smiddy.org.au