This Is Not a Metaphor for Anything
25 years ago, let's say, you couldn't get good coffee in America: only Folger's, Maxwell House, or instant. Hipster college towns and European imports notwithstanding (International Coffees, anyone?), the average cup was bad; so bad, in fact, that people didn't really know what they were drinking was substandard.
Then came Starbucks, and the return of coffee culture (Cheers being replaced by Cafe Nervosa in Frasier and Central Perk in Friends would be representative), and it was possible to have good-to-great coffee almost anywhere.
In the early 00s, Starbucks switches over from barista-led espresso machines to automatic ones. The caramel machiatto is a runaway success.
Now: a divide between coffee snobs and everyone else. The rise in popularity of single-cup coffee makers, whose most notable feature is the willingness to pump increasing amounts of water through the same amount of grounds, and whose flavor profiles range from "bold" to "extra bold" because otherwise you can't taste the coffee,* concurrent with the rise in 'coffee' drinks as milk-and-sugar delivery vehicles. You can get a good cup of coffee, but you probably have to make it yourself, or seek out a niche coffee location.
Are we better off now than we were? By how much, exactly?
*The only exception I've found are the Starbucks k-cups, which taste exactly like Starbucks coffee. Whether this is a good thing is left as an exercise for the reader.