Ascorbic acid (AsA), known as vitamin C, is an essential nutrient for humans and mainly absorbed from food. Tea plant ( Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) leaves can be a dietary source of AsA for humans. However, experimental evidence on the biosynthesis, recycling pathway and distribution of AsA during leaf development in tea plants is unclear. To gain insight into the mechanism and distribution of AsA in the tea plant leaf, we identified 18 related genes involved in AsA biosynthesis and recycling pathway based on the transcriptome database of tea plants. Tea plant leaves were used as samples at different developmental stages. AsA contens in tea plant leaves at three developmental stages were measured by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). The correlations between expression levels of these genes and AsA contents during the development of tea plant leaves were discussed. Results indicated that the l-galactose pathway might be the primary pathway of AsA biosynthesis in tea plant leaves. CsMDHAR and CsGGP might play a regulatory role in AsA accumulation in the leaves of three cultivars of tea plants. These findings may provide a further glimpse to improve the AsA accumulation in tea plants and the commercial quality of tea.