Coffee and a Classic Review
Coffee and a Classic is a monthly book subscription box that is curated around the theme of a classic novel and includes your choice of a hot beverage – coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I loved the idea of Coffee and a Classic because if I were to start my own subscription service, this is exactly what it would look like. Although I review contemporary literature from writers of color, I fell in love with books at a young age from reading Charles Dickens. And from Dickens, I moved on to Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the Brontë sisters…you get the idea. And I love hot chocolate so much that not only do I drink it in the middle of summer, but I drink it in spite of my lactose intolerance. Yep, you read that correctly, I pop a few Lactaid pills and I drink hot chocolate to my heart’s content. So, when I say that I was excited to try Coffee and a Classic, believe me, I was very excited!
How it Works
Coffee and a Classic offers two subscription levels: Starter Classic Subscription and Standard Classic Subscription. The Starter Classic Subscription costs $41.99 per month and it includes: a classic book, a hot beverage (coffee, tea of hot chocolate), two bookish items and a bookmark. The Standard Classic Subscription cost $51.99 per month and includes all the items in the Starter Classic Subscription box plus a snack, a mug and it is packaged in a high-quality photo box.
Once you choose your subscription level, you then get to choose your genre, either classic literature or children’s classics from writers such as Roald Dahl, Robert Louis Stevenson or Lewis Carroll. Next, you choose your hot beverage: coffee, tea or hot chocolate or you can choose the “surprise me” option where the curators choose the beverage for you each month. And then finally, you choose your plan, you can choose either the monthly plan, the prepaid 3-month plan or the 6-month prepaid plan. The cost for the 3-month Starter Subscription plan is $119. 67 and for the 6-month plan it is $239.34. The cost for the 3-month Standard Classic Subscription plan is $148.17 and $296.34 for the 6-month plan. When you sign up you are billed immediately for your first box and then you are billed on the 1st of the month for subsequent boxes.
If you do not want to pay for a subscription, you can purchase an individual box. To purchase a box without a subscription, during the checkout process, you can tick the box labelled “This is a gift” during the checkout process and a note saying “will not renew” will show up beside the item in your cart. Subscription boxes are shipped between the 19thand 23rd of each month and shipping within the US is free.
Getting Coffee and a Classic
I did the Starter Subscription box because I already have too many mugs and I am very picky about my snacks. Also, I chose the classic literature for my genre and hot chocolate was my beverage of choice. I paid for my subscription on June 18th and when I did not receive my package or an email about the package by the start of July, I emailed Coffee and a Classic on July 5th to inquire about my box. Then, I received an email saying that my box had shipped on July 07 and I received it on July 13th. Here is what I got in my box:
Moby Dick by Herman Melville (Paper Mill Press)- $14.99
Sea Salt Caramel Mix from McStevens
Herman Melville Oak Bookmark from Coffee and a Classic
Moby Dick Linen/Cotton Blend Decorative Pillowcase
What I Liked and Didn’t Like
I loved the curation of this box and that everything in the box had a clear Moby Dick theme. Also, I liked the quality of the book, it was a softcover book, made of imitation leather with a ribbon bookmark. I also liked the Oak bookmark; it was cute, and you can never have too many bookmarks.
Apart from the delay in receiving my book, there were a few things I didn’t like about Coffee and a Classic. First, I didn’t like that you aren’t offered a choice in books, I have read Moby Dick before and I was not a fan, so if there was a choice, I would likely have chosen the book that wasn’t Moby Dick. And, although I liked that the 2 bookish items had a clear Moby Dick theme, I thought the items, a bottle opener and a pillowcase, were very random. I wish the two items were more bookish, for example, a Moby Dick themed book tote or Moby Dick themed postcards or journal or just anything other than a bottle opener and a single pillowcase! Additionally, as a hot chocolate connoisseur, I didn’t enjoy the hot chocolate mix. I thought that once my hot chocolate from my Coffee and a Classic box arrived, I would have to set aside my Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa Gourmet Powder but sadly, that was not what happened. And finally, I am not convinced that the value for money is there with this book box. I am a huge fan of book subscription boxes and I know by experience that the value for money is much lower with book boxes than for beauty /skincare boxes but I think Coffee and a Classic was just too expensive for what I got.
I still love the idea behind Coffee and a Classic, because those are two great things that belong together. Maybe I signed up for the one month where the box isn’t as good as it usually is because I understand that not all boxes will blow me away. However, Coffee and a Classic is at the higher end for a book subscription boxes at $41.99 per month, so I expect them to deliver a great box every month but unfortunately, I was just really underwhelmed by this box.