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World Tea Expo Agenda Offers Profitable Information for Tea Retailers

Geared towards bolstering businesses of all kinds through its in-depth education program, the 13th annual World Tea Expo (@worldteamedia – #WorldTeaExpo or #WTE15) takes place May 6 – 8, 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention Center. World Tea Expo is focused 100 percent on premium teas and related products. To register or for additional information, visit WorldTeaExpo.com.

This year’s agenda covers a wide variety of industry topics and tea retail strategies, including: the state of the tea industry, direct trade with tea producers, sustainability and the global tea system, product quality, false marketing/labeling, growing tea commercially in the United States, marketing of organic teas, increasing sales through the latest trends, the culinary world and tea, and tea and health, among other topics. In addition to the education program, the exposition floor features hundreds of new products and services, many of which cannot be found at any other trade show.

World Tea Expo attendees — top companies and professionals from more than 50 countries — will attend the event to discover “what’s next” in tea. Conference delegates represent: tea and coffee shops, grocery chains, private label brands, gourmet retailers, convenience stores, distributors, online businesses, restaurants and chefs, foodservice, hotels and distributors, as well as manufacturers and beverage developers, and others interested in building their business through tea.

Highlights of the Education Program at World Tea Expo

Global State of the Industry: A Review of the Top Tea Trends and Markets Around the World – Presenter Jonas Feliciano (@JonasF_EMI), a beverages industry analyst with Euromonitor International, will focus on the largest and fastest growing tea markets around the world. He’ll also provide insights on the top trends that are driving sales, using Euromonitor’s latest beverages data.

Emerging Hot Issues in Current US Tea Market: Speaker Youngmok Kim, Senior Research Scientist at Synergy Flavors, will uncover current issues related to health benefits, scientific research, product quality, false marketing/labeling, health claims and tea myths. Solutions/answers will be provided based on scientific facts, data and literature.

Direct Trade – Building Relationships with Tea Producers: Elyse Petersen (@peaceelyse), founder of Tealet, will discuss how retailers can now develop relationships with tea producers, providing more transparency of sourcing to their customers. During the session, lessons will be learned from the infrastructure developed in the coffee industry. Terms and standards for direct trade will also be defined in this presentation, as well as how retailers can move forward with direct trade practices.

Promoting Sustainability and Climate Mitigation in the Global Tea System:  Selena Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Systems, Montana State University, is scheduled to present on the impact of climate change on tea quality, and how tea industry agents can mitigate this risk. Ahmed will explore these topics from a sustainability framework and a guided tea tasting. Tangible business practices will also be recommended that can be adopted towards enhanced sustainability of the global tea system.

Growing Tea Commercially in the USA: Nigel Melican (@teacraftecm), CEO of Teacraft LTD, says there’s a trending interest in tea growing in the United States, but there’s sparse information on how to set up a tea growing business. Melican’s session will look at how tea growing in the United States is different than other countries, profitability, where to start, and the limitations

Tea Moves Back into the Bar & Back to the Kitchen: Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, Inc., will discuss culinary cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, and how everything from tea, bacon, herbs, fruits and vegetables are the “rock stars” at the bar. The session will also look at how tea has been making its way into food, showing up as a seasoning in desserts, entrées and side dishes. The presentation will explore the forces behind the movement of tea into beverages and into the kitchen.

The Big Chill in Premium Tea: Maria Uspenski (@uspenski), CEO of The Tea Spot, says many upscale restaurants and cafes now prepare their iced teas using the cold brew method. Foodservice professionals have touted the ease and flexibility of the process, as well as the finesse of the resulting flavor. In addition, research studies have hyped the chemical benefits to cold brewing certain teas. Uspenski’s session will provide a comprehensive introduction and overview to cold brew tea and how it can play into foodservice offerings.

Increasing Your Sales With the New Matcha Madness Trend: Presenter Rona Tison, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, ITO EN (North America) INC., says matcha is the new culinary trend of 2015. In her session, attendees will learn how to maximize sales with the revered ceremonial green tea that’s making its way into the American mainstream market. Attendees will learn the expansive world of this growing tea trend, and how to integrate matcha into a business through culinary diplomacy.

Production, Demand and Marketing of Organic Teas: Nikhil Ghosh Hajra, Director / CEO / Technical Adviser, Tea Board of India / Organic Tea & Agri-Horticultural Consulting, will review the development of organic tea, cultivation practices, current global trends of production and the global market.

Selling Tea For Health: The Power of Talking About Tea and Health: Babette Donaldson, author of The Everything Healthy Tea Book, notes that many speak freely about the health benefits of tea, yet the FDA limits merchants from using this powerful message. So what can be said? How can one (legally) tap into this conversation and build business on current scientific research and ancient healing wisdom? Donaldson will present an overview and discuss ways to navigate government controls, while participating in meaningful conversations with customers about the many healthful benefits of tea.

New England Coffee Company Launches Blizzard Bold

New England Coffee Company, which has been roasting coffee locally for 99 years, today announces the availability of its Blizzard Bold blend. A new seasonal blend made from a unique arrangement of Central American coffee beans, Blizzard Bold boasts an intensely rich, dark, aromatic flavor that is perfect for cold winter days.

As with all of New England Coffee’s blends, Blizzard Bold is made with 100 percent high-quality Arabica coffee beans and small-batch roasted to ensure the perfect flavor. Blizzard Bold is one of the brand’s darker roasts, but also features a finer grind of the beans to provide a smooth finish. Blizzard Bold is the first in a series of limited-time-only products New England Coffee will offer throughout 2015. The special blends will include longstanding customer favorites along with several completely new flavors.

To celebrate the Blizzard Bold launch, New England Coffee will give consumers the opportunity to win a year’s supply of free coffee via a Facebook contest asking fans to guess how many inches of snow Boston will see this February. The contest will kick off on February 6, the anniversary of the infamous Blizzard of 1978, which dumped a then-record 27.1 inches of snow in Boston.

In addition, New England Coffee social media followers on Facebook and Twitter will be able to show just how bold they are by sharing their own bold move via photo or video using the hashtag #neboldmove. The New England Coffee sampling truck will also visit select locations in Boston throughout January and February so followers can experience Blizzard Bold for themselves.

Blizzard Bold is available in 10-ounce freshly ground packages through February 2015 online at www.newenglandcoffee.com and at select retailers, including ACME Markets, Big Y, Market Basket, Roche Bros., Shaw’s, ShopRite, and Stop & Shop.

Winegrowers Unveil 100 Year Business Plan to Preserve Agriculture in Sonoma County, California

From the rocky coastline to the mountain vistas and the lush river valleys, the land has always been the hero in the story of Sonoma County, California. Through it all, the dedicated efforts of farmers and ranchers have been at the forefront of taking care of the land, protecting it and managing it in a way that has provided a bounty of apples, prunes, pears, poultry, lamb, beef and, more recently, winegrapes for nearly 150 years.

With this in mind, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, also known as Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), has created a 100-year business plan to preserve agriculture in Sonoma County well into the 22nd Century.  The 100-year plan is believed to be the first of its kind in agriculture and the global wine industry. It is also the next step in the evolution of Sonoma County’s efforts to become the first wine region in the United States to have all of its wines grown and made in a sustainable manner.

“Last year when we announced our intent to be 100-percent sustainable by 2019, it was always viewed as the starting point, not the end goal,” said Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers.  She added, “It is our job as farmers to be caretakers of the land in Sonoma County and preserve our agricultural legacy and way of life for future generations.  Just as we inherited the land from previous generations, we have a fundamental responsibility to make the land better for those who inherit it from us.”

The existence of the 100-year plan was announced nearly one year to the day when Sonoma County Winegrowers generated worldwide attention for its bold commitment to become the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable wine growing region by 2019.  Sonoma County winegrape growers are currently following a rigorous sustainability self-assessment and third party certification program focused on 138 farming and business practices, such as land use, canopy management, energy efficiency, water quality assessments, carbon emissions, healthcare and training for employees and being a good neighbor and community member.

In the twelve months since announcing its sustainable intentions, the local wine industry reached one-third of its targeted goal of becoming 100-percent sustainable.  More than 43 percent (25,987 vineyard acres) of the county’s 59,772 vineyard acres have completed a sustainability assessment.  In addition, 33 percent of the county’s vineyard acres (21,491 vineyard acres) have taken the next step and are now certified under a third-party auditor program.  The 59,772 vineyard acres in Sonoma County only accounts for 6 percent of the county’s one million acres with the rest being utilized as pasture land (36 percent), forests (49 percent) and urban land (9 percent).  More than 950 winegrape growers have attended sustainability workshops, meetings or other sustainability-related events.  There were 26 sustainability workshops and meetings hosted by the Sonoma County Winegrowers in 2014.  Eight of the county’s 16 AVAs held sustainability workshops in the past year.

As the past year evolved, industry leaders met and the 100 year plan was written.  It is designed as a living document and will be executed through both annual and five-year benchmarks that will identify transformational opportunities for collaboration and seek partnerships with a variety of groups including agricultural, business, community and education as well as government leaders to find tangible solutions and provide flexibility for the unexpected.  The time period of 100 years was chosen as a natural period that touches everyone in a tangible way – it represents two generations before and the next two future generations in essence spanning from grandparents to grandchildren.  The plan addresses such issues as innovation and research, natural resources, the regulatory environment, community engagement and marketing while building coalitions throughout the community in support of sustaining agriculture in Sonoma County forever.

“This effort is charting a path to preserve agriculture in Sonoma County for the next 100 years,” said Brad Petersen, a third-generation grape grower who manages vineyards at Silver Oak Cellars and chairman of the Sonoma County Winegrowers board of directors.   He added, “It provides us and those who follow with a set of guiding principles to ensure agriculture is successfully preserved and that Sonoma County will remain the best wine region in the world for the next 100 years and beyond.”

The Best Canadian Whisky of 2014

The verdict is in. A whisky distilled more than two decades ago, then tucked away and forgotten, is the best Canadian whisky of 2014. A jury of nine independent whisky experts named Collingwood 21 Year Old Rye the Canadian Whisky of the Year at the fifth annual Canadian Whisky Awards. They announced the results of this annual blind tasting competition Thursday evening, January 15, at the Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, B.C.

Chairman of the judges, Davin de Kergommeaux, described Collingwood Rye as: “A Canadian whisky connoisseur’s dream come true.” Only 50 barrels of Collingwood 21 Year Old Rye were distilled at the Canadian Mist Distillery in Collingwood, Ontario. Canadian stocks are almost gone, though limited quantities are still available from select U.S. liquor stores.

Other top winners include Lot No. 40, Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye, Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve, Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Rye, and Crown Royal Monarch. Forty Creek distillery’s John Hall received a lifetime achievement award.

“Interest in Canadian whisky continues to grow and Canada’s whisky makers have responded with a wealth of new high-end whiskies,” said de Kergommeaux as he revealed the winners. “For the first time a major legacy brand, Canadian Club, has released 100 percent rye grain whisky as a core offering. Canada’s best-selling whisky, Crown Royal, became the first major brand to release high-proof single barrel whisky, and Collingwood bottled long-aged rye whisky. Overall, distillers have released more small batch and top-end deluxe whiskies than ever before.”

Sales of flavored whisky also remain strong with Forty Creek, Centennial, and Sortilège making strong gains.

The list of all the winners is now available at http://www.canadianwhisky.org.

Matcha LOVE® Launches CULINARY MATCHA – Trendy New Kitchen Staple

ITO EN, a leading green tea company, debuts its new Matcha LOVE® CULINARY MATCHA in booth #1464 at the Winter Fancy Food Show. With 2015 predicted to be a year of “Matcha Madness” by trend forecaster, Sterling-Rice Group, CULINARY MATCHA is the new must have ingredient for the modern pantry. The new ingredient has an MRSP of $19.95 for 3.5 ounces.Matcha LOVE Culinary Matcha

The finely milled Matcha powder made from shade-grown green tea leaves is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Fast becoming a popular ingredient for its rich umami taste and antioxidant rich benefits, Matcha LOVE® CULINARY MATCHA, packaged in a 100 gram tin, can be used for baking or cooking, whether for sweet or savory dishes. Also a favorite in smoothies and super drinks, Matcha is hailed for its powerful EGCG tea antioxidants, Vitamin C and natural energy boost with a “calm alertness.”

“With more people falling in love with the vitality of matcha, our Culinary Matcha makes it easy for home cooking,” said Rona Tison, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Relations. “Aspiring cooks can now enjoy the purity of the entire green tea leaf in a variety of recipes, both traditional and new.”

Rich in L-theanine, the amino acid necessary to create what scientists and renowned chefs refer to as umami synergy, matcha generates new layers of amplified flavors with a sweet lingering taste sensation. Bold and rich in flavor with an herbaceous finish, a little matcha goes a long way.

The new CULINARY MATCHA joins the Matcha LOVE’s® line of ceremonial matcha powder and convenient on-the-go “no fuss” Matcha drinks, available unsweetened and sweetened. With a modern take on an ancient ritual, the innovative Matcha LOVE® line is making its way into the urban lifestyle for its fresh authentic taste and restorative powers.

Also being introduced are Matcha LOVE® Teabags, a special blend of premium quality green tea leaves and 100 percent Matcha. The teabags will be available in 10 individual envelopes in a small, compact carton.

Matcha LOVE® is available in specialty food stores, natural and mainstream markets nationwide. For more information, visit www.matchalove.com or www.itoen.com.

 

 

Reliant Beverage Adds Industry Expert to Team

Germano (2)Reliant Beverage Company, maker of Reliant Recovery Water, has hired Bill Germano as president.

“We are thrilled to have Bill join the Reliant team,” said Eric Russell, CEO of Reliant Beverage Company. “He brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the beverage industry and knows how to grow small companies into flourishing national brands. We are confident he will help take Reliant to the next level.”

During his more than 20 years of experience as an executive in the food and beverage industry, Germano has significantly influenced the growth of widely recognized brands in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining Reliant, Germano was the vice president of global development for Kettle Foods where he led the snack brand through a period of increased earnings and innovation in the United Stated and Europe. He has also served as the president and CEO of Thomas Kemper Soda and most recently was the president and CEO of Dr. Lucy’s LLC, where he led a successful launch of a specialized healthy baked snack line to an industry leading brand.

“Reliant Recover Water is an opportunity to truly make a difference,” said Germano. “This is such a uniquely innovative product and I look forward to growing the brand to a national product leader.”

As the new president of Reliant Beverage Company, Germano will lead the efforts to launch the company’s flagship beverage Reliant Recovery Water into the commercial market. Germano joins CEO Eric Russell and an advisory board that includes leaders from some of the Pacific Northwest’s top consumer brands as well as top researchers, physicians and physiologists from across the globe.

Reliant Recovery Water is the first and only electrokinetically modified water that delivers consumers faster recovery to joints and muscles and better performance. For more information about Reliant Recover Water visit www.drinkreliant.com.

Reliant Beverage Co. is based in Tacoma, Wash., with every bottle of Reliant Recovery Water processed on-site. The company is led by the Russell Family and backed by an advisory board from the Pacific Northwest’s top consumer brands as well as top researchers, physicians, and physiologists from across the globe. Reliant Beverage Co. was founded in 2009 with extensive research and investments to better understand electrokinetically modify water (EMW) and how they interact with the human body. Reliant Recovery Water underwent eight years of extensive research, development and testing prior to launch. Researchers from the University of Florida and Seattle Sports Medicine validated Reliant’s benefits, concluding that the drink improves functional recovery after activity and exercise with less resulting pain and fatigue.

Lem Butler, Sam Lewontin Win at Big Eastern Coffee Competition

On November 21-23, around 80 coffee professionals from the East Coast participated in the Big Eastern Coffee Competition in Durham, North Carolina. Lem Butler, Counter Culture’s head of wholesale customer support and barista trainer of the Carolinas, placed first in the Southeast Regional Barista Competition, his fifth win in his coffee career. Butler has worked with Counter Culture in Durham since 2007. Sam Lewontin, barista at NYC’s Everyman Espresso, won the Northeast Regional Barista Competition using Counter Culture coffee. Butler and Lewontin will advance to the U.S. Coffee Championships with a first-round bye in Long Beach, California, in February 2015.
Twelve baristas competed using Counter Culture’s coffees, and in addition to Butler and Lewontin, seven of these competitors made it to the finals. In the SERBC: Anna Utevsky from Joule Coffee (Raleigh, North Carolina) came in third; Nathan Nerswick of Empire State South (Atlanta) came in fourth; and Micah Sherer of Tandem Creperie & Coffeehouse (Travelers Rest, South Carolina) came in fifth. In the NERBC: Carlos Morales from Third Rail Coffee (New York City) placed third and Erika Vonie from Everyman Espresso (New York City) finished fourth. In the Southeast Regional Brewers Cup: Jack Snyder of Northside Social (Arlington, Virginia) finished fourth and Henry Boyd of Morning Times (Raleigh, North Carolina) came in sixth. Additional competitors using Counter Culture coffees included: Jenny Bonchak, Slingshot Coffee (Raleigh, North Carolina); Steph Caronna, La Farm Bakery (Cary, North Carolina); Seth Cook, Northside Social (Arlington, Virginia); Timm Jones, Jubala Coffee (Raleigh, North Carolina); and Joshua Maitz, Peregrine Espresso (Washington, D.C.). See link here for full list of results.
At the Barista Competition, baristas competed in front of four sensory judges, two technical judges and one head judge as they prepared and served four espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature espresso beverages during a 15-minute race against the clock. Butler competed with AA-grade Thiriku (Nyeri, Kenya), roasted by Counter Culture’s Eddie Green and Kyle Tush, as his espresso for his signature beverage. For his cappuccinos, Butler combined 70 percent AA grade with 30 percent AB grade that was roasted two points darker “to focus more on balancing between sweetness and body in the cappuccino.” Butler was previously named Southeast Regional Barista in 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2012. Lewontin competed with Counter Culture’s Finca Los Alpes from Aida Battle in El Salvador (also roasted by Kyle Tush) as his espresso, noting that the “nectarine and grapefruit” notes balanced a “beautiful sweetness and crisp acidity.”
At the Brewers Cup, competitors were judged in two rounds by skilled coffee tasters. The first round was a blind tasting; the competitors all brewed the same coffee on their chosen manual brewing devices. Those who advanced to the second round brewed and presented their chosen coffee to the judges’ panel.
The Big Eastern Event is one of three Super Regional Coffee Competitions taking place across the country. The Big Western took place October 7-10 in Rancho Mirage, California, and the Big Central took place November 7-9 in Minneapolis. The winners of each competition go on to compete in the U.S. Coffee Championships at the SCAA’s 27th Annual Event, February 19-22, 2015, in Long Beach, California. The winner of each U.S. Coffee Championship moves on to compete in the 2015 World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup in Seattle, April 9-12, 2015.
Open to the public and free to attend, the event also hosted opportunities for attendees to learn more about the world of specialty coffee and to taste coffee from local and regional roasters. The Big Eastern was sponsored by Counter Culture Coffee and Wilbur Custis Co. and produced by the Barista Guild of America and the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Paso Robles Wine Country to Celebrate Inaugural BlendFest on the Coast

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA), in conjunction with the Cambria Tourism Board, San Simeon Tourism Board and Wine Coast Country announced a new partnership to bring a Paso Robles wine event to the north coast of San Luis Obispo County. On February 21, 2015 the 1st Annual Paso BlendFest on the Coast will showcase the best characteristics of each partner, combining the scenic beauty of the coast with Paso Robles Wine Country, only miles away. Held during off season, BlendFest is sure to become an annual marquee event helping to promote stays at the area’s lodging properties and celebrate Paso Robles Wine Country in a beautiful setting.

BlendFest will invite visitors to San Simeon and Cambria to Grow Wild beyond a glass of everyday wine and will feature 25-30 of Paso Robles’ renowned wineries, each featuring two distinct blends! Held at The Cavalier Resort in San Simeon, guests will be able to enjoy spectacular wines, only surpassed by the stunning coastal views.

“As evidenced by Paso’s recent honor as Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine, the region has become known for rule breaking, unconventional blends,” said Jennifer Porter, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “It is now time those blends got their own dedicated festival!”

Read the rest of this story at Food & Food Equipment News, another publication of Oser Communications Group. You might also be interested in this story about Mollydooker wines.

Mondelez International to Expand Tassimo Beverage Capsule Production

Mondelez International has announced plans to invest $50 million (£30 million) in its Banbury, UK factory to build two new lines that will manufacture Tassimo beverage capsules. Tassimo is Europe’s fastest growing single-serve system, brewing a wide variety of beverages including Jacobs and Costa coffees and Cadbury hot chocolate.

The decision is part of Mondelez International’s multi-year investment in European manufacturing, under which $1.5 billion has been invested since 2010. The planned investment will create close to 80 roles and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Banbury factory, which produces coffee brands such as Kenco, Carte Noire and Maxwell House. The Tassimo capsules produced in Banbury will be exported to Western European coffee markets in France and Spain as well as distributed in the UK.

“Tassimo is a key driver of growth for our European coffee business, so this $50 million opportunity is a great one for Banbury,” said Phil Hodges, Senior Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain, Mondelez Europe.  “Over the past 18 months, we’ve made similar investments in Bournville and Sheffield, underscoring our commitment to UK manufacturing. The proposed investment is part of our vision to manufacture our products on state-of-the-art lines that will enable us to meet growing demand while increasing our competitiveness.”

Click here to read more Gourmet News stories about coffee.

Continued investment in the plant has created an efficient and modern factory capable of producing both instant and capsule coffees for Mondelez International’s brands. The $50 million investment, conditional on commitments to flexibility and cost competitiveness, will fund two new Tassimo coffee production lines to be installed in 2015.

The Tassimo beverage system, which was developed in Banbury prior to its launch in Europe in 2004, uses barcode technology to calculate the right amount of water, brewing time, and temperature for the specific beverage. Over the past five years, Tassimo achieved strong double-digit growth in Europe through a winning formula of convenience, an unrivalled brand portfolio and quality coffee.

“The proposed investment opportunity demonstrates that, in an increasingly competitive environment, the UK continues to be a prime location for large-scale manufacturing,” said Paul Sinclair, Head of Manufacturing at the Mondelez International Banbury site.  “We’re committed to securing this investment for Banbury by increasing flexibility and competitiveness, and we’re excited about showcasing the quality we can deliver to coffee drinkers in the UK and abroad by producing Tassimo in our factory.”

“This investment opportunity in Banbury is part of our ongoing supply chain reinvention plan,” said Hodges. “We’re implementing several such initiatives around the world to capitalize on growing demand, while also reducing costs and improving productivity.”

Mondelez International’s supply chain reinvention plan is expected to deliver $3 billion in gross-productivity savings, $1.5 billion in net savings and $1 billion in incremental cash over the next three years.  The investment follows Mondelez Europe’s announced $100 million commitment to build a state-of-the-art biscuit factory in Czech Republic earlier this year, as well as the potential new investment of approximately $100 million for the Bournville chocolate manufacturing site in Birmingham, UK.

Mollydooker 2012 Carnival of Love Shiraz Named #1 Wine and #1 Shiraz in Australia and New Zealand for 2014

South Australia wine producer, Mollydooker Wines from McLaren Vale has just been honored by Winestate magazine at the 2014 Australasian Winestate Awards, held on  November 14, 2014 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The Mollydooker 2012 Carnival of Love Shiraz was awarded twice as the 2014 Wine of the Year for Australia and New Zealand and the 2014 Shiraz Wine of the Year for Australia and New Zealand.

Owners and winemakers, Sarah and Sparky Marquis, have been wine industry innovators and have triumphed over moments of near disasters in the competitive, global wine marketplace for over 20 years in Australia.

Winestate, the prestigious and oldest wine publication of Australia, awarded Mollydooker Wines and their 2012 Carnival of Love Shiraz from over 2,400 Australian and New Zealand wine producers and over 11,000 wine entries.

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